Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E), a privately owned US gas and electricity company, announced tonight that it will cut power to 605,000 customers on Tuesday in anticipation of a heavy windstorm.
The US company, which filed for credit protection earlier this year, has struggled with numerous problems. Monday's session sank its shares on Wall Street because of the risk of heavy losses from California fire compensation – and at a time when two new incidents appear to be linked to problems with the company's equipment. .
Shortly thereafter, the company announced that on Tuesday it will power 605,000 customers without electricity, a vast "blackout" that could last until Wednesday and will affect regions of 29 counties in the state of California.
On October 9, PG&E had also announced that it planned to cut electricity to 800,000 homes and businesses in California to prevent fires, at a time when high winds were also expected to plague the United States.
From the point of view of PG&E, which has been struggling through the devastating fires of the last two years and has consumed a lot of its equipment, disconnecting the lines has been the only alternative.
In fact, cutting was the only solution found to prevent the high-voltage lines from burning again – which would increase the number of casualties and costs.
At the end of January this year, it is recalled, PG&E filed for creditor protection under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Act, having accumulated unsustainable debts following the California fires in 2017 and 2018 that killed the most. of 100 people.
In July, the company announced a plan to create a fund of 11 billion euros.
dollars to cover compensation for the fires of the last two years and also to help set up reserves to cover future compensation – a move that was applauded by investors.
However, the company's troubles are succeeding at a rapid pace and PG&E has been punished on the stock market: this year, it loses 84%.