Faulty GPL generator causes problems in West Demerara
Residents on the West Coast of Demerara are at their wits’ end because of the continuous blackouts. From Windsor Forest, West Coast Demerara to Parika, on the East Bank of Essequibo, the communities have been without a full flow of electricity for the past week.
A source from the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Sophia Power Station has told Kaieteur News that the residents would continue to face the constant blackouts, because of a malfunctioning generator at the power station at Versailles, West Bank Demerara.
According to the source, for the past week, the generator has been giving problems; and despite being repaired on a regular basis, it would still malfunction.
The source added that this is because the generator has been around for a number of years, and it has now reached the stage where it has to be replaced.
However, Kaieteur News understands that it is unclear whether GPL intends to replace the faulty generator; but, until then, the residents will continue to experience the discomfort.
The source said that communities between Windsor Forest and Parika will face the brunt of the problem. GPL could not give a commitment that the issue will ease in the coming weeks, since all depends on the reaction of the generator.
For the past week, the communities have been faced with more than eight hours of blackout daily, especially during the nights.
This, the source said, occurs during the period when the demand is high during the nights; and as a result, the generator is placed under strain and would just shut down.
Meanwhile, the residents have expressed their dissatisfaction with the performance of GPL, because the situation is having a negative economic impact on their businesses.
In the case of a butcher in Meten-Meer-Zorg, it was noted that, if the situation continues, he will have to discard some 800 pounds of beef, which in the end would cost him as much as $250,000.
Efforts made by this newspaper to contact the Chief Executive Officer of GPL, to find out whether or not the faulty generator will be replaced, proved futile.
In November, the residents were also experiencing the same problem, but it was explained that the problems were complicated with the fact that six major Wartsilla units had to be overhauled during 2008, as well as the intermittent problems with the availability of the GuySuCo Skeldon sets.
Currently, the generation capacity for companies on the Demerara grid is 67 megawatts, and the demand for electricity is fluctuating at the generation peak.
In order to facilitate this, GPL noted, the 5.5 megawatt Wartsilla Unit has been overhauled.