GPL, Wartsila close to identifying problem with Garden of Eden power plant – Indar

Minister within the Ministry of Public Works Deodat Indar

Teams from the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) and Wartsila are working around the clock to find the root cause of the emergency shut down of the 46.5-megawatt power plant at Garden of Eden, East Bank Demerara (EBD).

Minister within the Ministry of Public Works Deodat Indar said Thursday that the two teams are close to identifying the problem with the $10.8 billion power plant.

“As of this morning, I was told they are [zoning] in on the problem, they have a good suspect of what the issue is and they are [zoning] in on that… They have not communicated to our people at GPL on a final and conclusive report that says ‘A or B’ what is the problem that caused the fuel to move into the exhaust system,” the Minister stated.

He said a specialised engineer from Wartsila will be in the country soon to further assess the problem, after which a report will be provided.

“They are still to provide that report, but as we speak right now, there are engineers on the ground. Another specialised engineer is supposed to arrive in the country to assist in the process… once we find out what was the root cause of that problem, then we will have a schedule of the rectification time because we will know if we would have to get parts flown in, or if we have the parts in country,” he said.

President Dr Irfaan Ali, after the incident, made it clear that Wartsila will be held accountable for the work they have done. “So, they have to fix it and they have to get it up and running,” he had said.

The President explained that the Attorney General and GPL will be reviewing the contract signed with the company. Added to that, President Ali said once there are penalties included in the contract, they will be applied.

On January 14, GPL was was forced to shut down its power plant to undergo an emergency mechanical inspection at the facility.

Chief Executive Officer of GPL, Bharrat Dindyal had explained to reporters that the heavy fuel which is being used at the plant is getting into the exhaust system. This prompted officials to shut down the five Wärtsilä generators that only started operating late last year.

“If we continue to operate, there is a chance that the fuel accumulates in the turbocharger, you could have a big explosion. You could destroy the engine, it could kill people in the vicinity so the decision was taken to immediately shut the plant down,” he had reasoned.