Blackouts continue as GPL fixes damaged submarine cable

first_imgDivisional Director of Projects, Ryan RossDivisional Director of Operations, Bharat HarjohnThe Guyana Power and Light (GPL) anticipates a prolonged period of constant power outage and load-shedding as it works to fix the damaged submarine cable that is the main network between the Kingston and Vreed-en-Hoop operations.Since GPL’s de-energising of the cable, consumers countrywide have experienced constant power outages and episodes of load-shedding that have lasted for several hours. On Wednesday, the company provided some clarity during a press conference by stating that the cable transmits power from the Vreed-en-Hoop station to the Kingston station for further utilisation within the Demerara-Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS). This supplies most of the country with power.The Vreed-en-Hoop station produces 26 megawatts of power, 12 of which are used in Region Three. The remainder is transmitted to Kingston to help service the rest of the country. Now that the cable is down, there is a shortfall of 14 megawatts of power from that station.GPL’s Divisional Director of Operations, Bharat Harjohn, explained that while there is a demand of 100 megawatts to efficiently service all consumers, only 90 megawatts are being generated.“Because of that cable failure, on the eastern half of the grid, we have a shortfall of 14 megawatts, because we import about 14 megawatts of power from the Vreed-en-Hoop substation… As of now, on the eastern half, we have about 90 megawatts of power available to us, and we have to satisfy a demand of approximately 100 megawatts,” Harjohn ascertained.Meanwhile, Divisional Director of Projects, Ryan Ross, explained that repair of this submarine cable can take up to two months to be completed.Presently, a number of load shedding exercises have been effected to monitor the situation. This means that scheduled blackouts will continue until the situation is fixed.“We have CMC [China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation] on the ground, and that’s who initially laid that cable and also repaired it before. This is expected to take two months… We’ve been able to create some amount of inventory, so that we can address it in a much quicker time,” he explained.Meanwhile, Harjohn has indicated that the submarine cable at Canje will be utilised to provide some extra megawatts of power until the main network is repaired. Two units at Anna Regina were also retrieved.“What we are doing presently to help with the shortfall is we (retrieved) two units from Anna Regina. We had sent up three units to help with the situation there. We are now bringing back two of those units. That will help with two megawatts of power,” he said.Ross added, “We are also looking at the possibility of running a cable at our Vreed-en-Hoop substation over to the east, so from the West Demerara to the East (Demerara). This will be a submarine cable, but it’s at 13.8 kilovolts level. This will help with the distribution side. This cable we had in stock for other areas… Also, at Canje River crossing, we have submarine cables too, so we’ll use this cable, which is about 5000 feet.”There are, to be undertaken, other initiatives which are expected to improve the efficiency of GPL’s power supply to the general populace. Chief Executive Officer Albert Gordon announced that plans are also in progress to secure funding for a parallel line from the Kingston to Sophia transmission networks.By next week, two generating sets at the Kingston Power Station, which has been unavailable due to maintenance operations, will recommence activities to assist with the power generation.GPL will also be engaging the Maritime Administration (MARAD) to educate traversing seafarers on the position of the cable. Many times, anchoring these vessels have damaged sections of the offshore network, it was explained.On Monday, a number of locations were subjected to load shedding as the utility company attempted to monitor the situation. Persons can look out for these notices on the GPL Inc Facebook page. On Wednesday, the utility company expressed that these activities will continue.Areas which were affected included sections of Georgetown, the East Bank and East Coast of Demerara; and Berbice.While GPL has promised to have the issue resolved as soon as possible, many persons have taken to social media to vent their frustration at the inconvenience occasioned by unbearable power outages over the past days.last_img

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