Rat in Wartsila engine shuts power to several Demerara wards
A rat is being blamed for a major disruption that shut down several parts of Demerara shortly after midnight on Tuesday.
Several areas, including sections of West Demerara, reported being without power for hours.
According to the Guyana Power and Light Inc.(GPL), around 00:15hrs on Wednesday, protective equipment at the 20.7mw plant in Kingston was activated causing a major disruption to supply in Demerara.
An inspection revealed that a rat had entered the switchgear and had come into contact with live parts. A power cable had also failed.
“The plant is designed to prevent the ingress of rodents but an unused cable gland was found to be open. Wartsila has been mandated to inspect the entire plant and to improve its rodent eradication measures,” GPL explained.
Wartsila is the Finnish company which has been supplying and maintaining power engines for Guyana over the past decade and half.
“On identifying the problem, all the switchgear were inspected before the plant was returned to service after 02:15hrs. The power cable that failed was serving consumers in Kingston, Cummingsburg, Lacytown, Thomas Lands and Kitty.”
GPL said it was able to successfully serve most of the consumers from alternative circuits but in attempting to restore service to consumers in Lacytown, a switch at the corner of New Market and Main Streets failed, causing another system disruption.
“Before 06:00hrs, all consumers were repowered except those in Lacytown due to the damaged switch. With CXC exams being written today, GPL has decided to delay the replacement of the damaged switch until 15:00hrs. Repairs to the damaged cable at the 20.7MW plant are completed and by 17:00hrs all the circuits serving Kingston, Cummingsburg, Lacytown and Kitty would be normalised.”
Meanwhile, another outage occurred in the Kingston/Main Street area at about 12:45hrs as a result of a damaged connection on a feeder. GPL was quickly able to restore the system before the scheduled shutdown at 15:00hrs.
“GPL apologises for the inconvenience caused and assures its valued customers that the repowering of the entire Demerara system will be completed as scheduled.”
Yesterday’s outages came hours after GPL unloaded two new engines from Wartsila that the state-owned company is hoping will give the country some breathing space.
Demand for power has risen considerably with new housing schemes and more equipment being imported.