Inclement weather and unavoidable difficulties to plant poles in some sections of the Lamaha embankment have contributed to the delay in the completion of the new Guyana Power and Light power generating plant at Kingston.
This is according to GPL Projects Manager, Lennox McGreggor, who disclosed yesterday that despite the challenges, the project is progressing at a satisfactory rate.
The new transmission line will stretch over five kilometres between Kingston and Sophia and is estimated to be completed at a cost of about US$300,000.
However, it was disclosed that the entire project is estimated to attract a whopping US$27M which will be funded by Government in its quest to reduce the power company’s cost of production even as the electricity service is improved in the city.
Cabinet, earlier this year, had offered its no objection to a contract valued at $176M for the construction of the foundation of the 21-megawatt power generating plant. And the plant, which will serve to replace the current generating station also located at Kingston, has since been completed and furnished with the requisite generating systems, according to McGreggor.
The systems arrived in Guyana during the latter part of May.
It was initially anticipated that the setting up of the transmission lines to facilitate the power expansion venture would have been completed in its entirety by the end of June.
However, according to McGreggor yesterday, the deadline may now be the end of September or early October as the contractor had indicated he may take at least three months to complete the project.
However, transmission capabilities will long be in place before then, McGreggor added.
He disclosed that to date at least 75 percent of the project structures have been erected but noted that the phase for insulation and stringing is not completed.
According to him, based on the current rate of progress, it is expected that a stringing process will commence this weekend between the vicinity of Parade Street and Vlissengen Road.
And even though the contracted company, Cummings Electrical, would have had a plan that could have facilitated a more timely completion of the project, McGreggor noted that constant rainfalls had reduced the embankment to a very soggy surface.
He related that initially the contracting company had planned to use a truck to aid the pole planting exercise, a process which was halted as the truck had become fastened. The use of a hymac was eventually incorporated into the process, McGreggor disclosed.
He further revealed that additional difficulties erupted when efforts were made to plant poles in the vicinity of the K. P. Thomas compound (the old train station).
McGreggor revealed that the contractor on several occasions was prevented from planting poles according to his original plan due to the presence of metal particles in the ground. This situation, according to the Projects Manager resulted in the contractor having to rethink his original plan.
The works were again obstructed when the contractor was confronted with a pile of mud, presumably left at a section of the embankment by workers of the Mayor and City Council of Georgetown.
And given the fact that the new transmission lines will have to run close to existing power lines in the vicinity of Vlissengen Road, McGreggor disclosed that the contractor had to acquire four 60-feet poles to ensure clearance to enable the stringing exercise this weekend.
Meanwhile, the ongoing expansion programme in Berbice between Skeldon and Number 53 Village, is moving apace, said McGreggor.
The project which is also being undertaken by Cummings Electrical has so far seen 62 percent of the poles being planted.
And though no stringing has commenced, McGreggor noted that the project is progressing with much more ease, as the planting of the poles are on virgin backdam lands that are void of obstructions.
And even as the project continues, GPL will be offering technical support to the contractor, the Projects Manager said, adding that inspectors will be tasked with making quality control checks throughout the course of the project.
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