Additional power generating sets likely to be commissioned by mid-December to ease blackout woes

Additional power generating sets likely to be commissioned by mid-December to ease blackout woes

The Government is giving the assurance that the Guyana Power and Light Company will be able to meet the current demand for electricity when it commissions the 17 power generating sets that are on their way to Guyana from the Dominican Republic.

The generators, valued at US$27M, will generate 28.9 megawatts of electricity.

According to Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar, the generating sets should arrive in Guyana by the 22nd November and be installed and commissioned by mid December.

He said the additional sets will significantly boost the capacity of the Power company to meet the current demand.

“Around 20 megawatts you will have above the historical peak of 184 megawatts because we will have in total reliable operating sets of 203.5 megawatts. So, it will take care of that, and that 184 [megawatts] as I said was when we had all of the industrial customers on the grid,” the Minister explained.

He said currently, GPL cannot meet the current peak demand of 172 megawatts due to the fact that one of its sets with a generating capacity of 7.8 megawatts is currently offline to facilitate a major overhaul.

As such, it is only producing 167 megawatts of electricity, resulting in load shedding.

“Right now, the country over the last week, we have seen the peak demand of about 172 megawatts. So, we have 167 [megawatts], the country demands 172 [megawatts], peak demand. So, because of that shortfall, we see some blackouts. When the problem started, the peak demand was 184.5 megawatts, it was bigger, the shortfall was bigger, we see the peak now reducing,” Minister Indar explained.

He explained that the shortfall remains due to the 7.8-megawatt generating set being taken off grid for maintenance.

“This is an engine that is about 14 years old. If we don’t bring it down for this general maintenance it runs the risk of the engine breaking up. And right now to find engines of that size in the market, you can’t procure it easily, it will take months, between nine to 16-18 months to get a new engine,” he explained.

The repairs are expected to be completed by November 10, and will add capacity to the existing system. However, it was explained that due to the lack of reserve, power outages are likely to continue if an issue develops.

“Now, these engines don’t run all the time well, sometimes during the day you have problems. In Region 3 we had to pull down a 5.5 megawatt, we had to take down a feeder because we have spinning reserve,” he explained.

With complaints mounting from citizens and the business community about the GPL power supply problems, Minister Indar said the impact is being felt by all.

“So, you don’t have the reserves, you have some engines that are working, soon anyone of them give a problem you have to take off it and a feeder between 3 megawatts to 7-8 megawatts, is thousands of customers, so that is why the country is faced with this, we are all faced with it. We all live in this country too, we all have houses, we get black out too, we feel it too,” he said.

It was also announced that the Government intends to re-engage the Giftland company to procure additional capacity. Giftland Mall has its own power generating system.

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