The Guyana Power and Light [GPL] today hosted a press conference to offer explanations and apologies for the extended power outage along the East Coast of Demerara on Sunday, which affected more than 37,000 costumers.
GPL placed ads in the media stating that power would be out from 8AM to 5PM in order to facilitate works at the Sophia substation but power returned until around 8PM.
The company stated today this is not the end of blackouts as yesterday’s outage only facilitated the setting up of the system which now allows GPL to isolate various communities instead of resorting to a total shut down in the future.
The shutdown, the Substations Project Manager, Gayle Best explained had to be extended because of the weather and then subsequent testing of the system.
Best stated that the workmen were working “in the air” and had to pause for a period of time, due to the rain.
“We weren’t on the ground, we were up in the air, suspended in the air working with spanner and crescent and so on so we couldn’t go through during the rain, we had to take some pause … we were able to complete all works just an hour short of the scheduled outage time that we had announced which would have been about six o’clock.”
Best said they then had to test the new component before putting it in service.
“We had to confirm that everything was correct … and the testing caused some more delays. However, we were able to complete all works, the testing around 7 o’clock last evening and to hand over the system to the system control operatives so they could normalise the system to repower customers,” she said.
She added, “Yesterday’s outage was just to allow us to progress from Step A to Step B, it is not the end all of the outages. However, with the sectionalised bus that we have in place now we wouldn’t be shutting down the plant ever again. We will be isolating sections to allow us to proceed with our works.”
And until such time, GPL is appealing to costumers to be patient. It is also expected that there would be a decrease in line losses.
She added that at the completion of this project come December 31, it is projected that there would be the end of extended blackouts.
Present for today’s press conference was GPL’s Operations and Projects Divisional Director, Colin Singh, Substation Project Manager Gayle Bess, the Operations and Planning Engineer from Sophia, Kempton France and Andrew Jin of the China National Machinery Import and Export Cooperation.