Two days after the major power outage in Dresden, production at the chip manufacturer Infineon starts again. “Both production lines will be gradually ramped up again,” said company spokesman Christoph Schumacher on Wednesday afternoon when asked by dpa. It will take some time until production is running at full capacity again. He did not name a specific period.
On Monday afternoon, a large-scale power outage temporarily paralyzed Dresden – around 300,000 households in Dresden and the surrounding area were affected – trams stood still, elevators got stuck, traffic lights failed. According to the police’s previous knowledge, the cause was a commercially available foil balloon that landed at a sensitive point in a switchgear of a substation and triggered a short circuit. Industrial companies were also affected.
“We have an emergency power generator for safety-critical systems,” said Schumacher. Pumps, emergency lighting and IT systems continued to run. The production, however, was canceled. The amount of the damage is still unclear for the time being. The semiconductor manufacturer Globalfoundries, which is not far away, has two of its own energy supply centers – independent of the public grid. “That saved us from great harm,” said company spokesman Jens Drews.
The new Bosch semiconductor plant also felt the effects of the large-scale power outage. The existing emergency power supply went into operation immediately and maintained the most important building and security functions, a spokeswoman explained to heise online. The production was nevertheless affected by the power failure. Any impairments and damage that have arisen are currently still being analyzed.
15 times more emergency calls
For the IT area of the state capital Dresden there are no effects or after-effects, explained the operations manager Dr. Michael Breiden opposite heise online. The emergency power supply systems would have ensured continuous operation for all central IT and telecommunications systems. Decentralized IT systems such as final workstations were put back into operation after the restoration of the power supply by the users and the work continued. There was no damage to technical systems.
The failure of traffic lights and stopped trams resulted in traffic disruptions in all of the city’s traffic. During the power failure, the fire and disaster control center with the integrated regional control center Dresden (IRLS) was fully functional, the office told heise online. Incoming emergency calls via the number 112 could have been processed seamlessly.
The emergency call volume was at times 10 to 15 times as high as on normal days. For comparison: between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. there were a total of 22 emergency calls, between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. 215 and from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. there were 55 emergency calls.
The control center and the fire and rescue stations were supplied with emergency power generators. The processes planned for this scenario were activated within the fire and disaster control office, for example the control center was immediately reinforced.
The first operation related to the power failure took place at 2:01 p.m. in a high-rise building on Albert-Wolf-Platz. In total, there were almost 30 relief missions, mainly due to people being trapped in an elevator, and more than 50 emergency rescue missions during this time. The focus of these missions was on home-ventilated patients whose ventilators can only bridge a power failure for a limited period of time. In addition, there were four false alarms from automatic fire alarm systems that entered the IRLS.