‘Planned and unplanned’ maintenance responsible for power outages- GPL

An existing GPL sub-station at Columbia/Mahaicony

The Guyana Power and Light on Friday has laid blame of power outages within the Demerara Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS) on the generation shortfall caused by maintenance work presently ongoing.

According to the Public Relations Officer of GPL, Chevon Sears, the normal available generation capacity-including the Skeldon Wartsila Units and the Co-Gen Plant- is approximately 137MWs.

However, presently the generation capacity available is 106MWs, with the day peak being approximately 109MWs and the night peak being 110-112MWs.

This means that GPL is operating at a generation shortfall of approximately 3MWs during the day peak and 6MWs at night.

Media operatives were told today that the reasons for the outages are both planned and unplanned.

Sears explained that as per planned maintenance, the power plant -identified as DP1 #1- situated at Garden of Eden, and which constitutes 5.5MWs should return to service on Saturday. This is after being unavailable for approximately 6 weeks.

Moreover, the other power plants- DP3 #2 and DP3 #3- which falls under the purview of the Power Producers and Distribution Inc (PPDI) and produces 6.9MWs each remain unavailable.

PPDI, the company which now manages the Wartsila engines, during a tour of the company’s power plants on Thursday, asserted that works are ongoing to rectify this matter.

However, the PPDI when probed, had said that is in no way responsible for the spate of blackouts that have occurred at regular intervals throughout the country.

Moreover, PPDI Chief Executive Officer Arron Fraser had said there has been no engine failure that would have affected PPDI power generation, and by extension Guyana Power and Light’s (GPL’s).

“The engines are actually more available this year than they were last year. There haven’t been any incidents with engine failure,” he said, adding that questions regarding failures in GPL’s distribution network would be for the GPL to answer.

Meanwhile, as it relates to unplanned maintenance, GPL has stated that the number 1 Skeldon Energy Incorporate (SEI) 5MWs is unavailable in addition to the 2.3MWs which was lost last evening as a result of the Onverwagt sub-station fire, which according to Sears “was a small fire that was aborted quickly.”

No preliminary information was immediately available to the media regarding the fire as investigations are ongoing.



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