The Minister of Mines and Energy, Alexandre Silveira, said today (17) that the acts of vandalism that resulted in the overthrow and damage to energy transmission towers will, as a consequence, modernize the security of the electric energy transmission system in the country. The vandals responsible for the attacks will face a “vigorous response and punishment” from the government, said the minister.
Silveira made the statement after meeting with members of the task force created to prevent and punish attacks on the system. According to the minister, so far there has been no damage to the electrical system as a result of the attacks. “The situation is under control, and actions are being taken, and everything that can be done by the public authorities will be done vigorously.”
According to the National Electric Energy Agency (Aneel), so far, there are records of four towers knocked down (3 in Rondônia and 1 in Paraná) and 12 damaged (4 in Paraná, 2 in São Paulo and 6 in Rondônia).
“The companies are acting on the detected faults, and the events are being monitored and inspected by the Agency. It is important to clarify that there was no interruption in the supply of energy transmission due to these occurrences”, informed Aneel.
At today’s meeting of the task force – with representatives from the electricity sector, the Federal and Federal Highway Police, as well as members of Aneel and the National Electric System Operator – some preventive actions were defined to avoid further actions by vandals.
Actions such as special inspections on the lines are foreseen, especially at road and railroad crossings; installation of surveillance cameras; and reinforcement of patrolling. “We discussed some key issues for modernizing the security of the national transmission system”, said the minister.
Silveira recalled that it is the consumer who pays for the entire transmission system and the electricity sector and that, therefore, it is “everyone’s heritage”. According to the minister, there is “great goodwill from all playersto adopt the most modern instruments”, such as cameras and drones, to be used not only by companies, but by intelligence and surveillance activities.
In this sense, the group’s idea is to increasingly improve the electrical system and the safety of transmission lines, especially those that have greater dialogue with the National Interconnected System. The events, therefore, represent “an opportunity to advance in the security of these assets”, including on the part of the companies that manage the electricity sector, added the minister.
He recalled that “several investigations” are already underway within the scope of the Federal Police and that the matter will be detailed “in due course”. According to Silveira, the actions of security agencies, both federal and state, have been “rigorous and fruitful”.
“The message I want to pass on to the population is that all the measures necessary to monitor the system are involved so that we can turn the pages of these attacks that are not justified and are against the heritage of all Brazilians”, he said, when asking that society Contribute to investigations through complaints if suspicious attitudes are identified.
According to the minister, so far there is no way to say that the attacks have political motivation. Silveira, however, assesses that, due to the fact that several factors converge in this direction – among them the vandalism practiced by coup leaders on January 8th – “all instruments, both from the State and from the private sector, will be adopted to provide security to the towers transmission”.