Apr 06, 2011 News
– three engines for back-to-back maintenance
The state-owned Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL) is warning of more blackouts as a major Wartsila generator remains down, and three more are set for necessary overhauls over the next two months.
To cater for the shortfall, the power company disclosed that it will rely heavily on a large fleet of high-speed Caterpillar generator sets and a number of older units to meet the peak evening demand.
The news would be especially bleak for residents of Demerara with a marked spike in the number of complaints recently over power outages.
The company explained that the Number 3 Wartsila generator at Garden of Eden suffered a major mechanical failure on January 29th.
“Metallurgical analysis of some failed components is being done in a specialized facility to determine what would have precipitated the failure. In the meanwhile, GPL’s insurance claim is being processed. It is expected that the 5.5MW unit would be returned to service before December,” the entity said in a statement.
With that generator out, the availability of power in the Demerara area is heavily impacted, with the situation not made easier by the commencement of major maintenance of engines at the 20.7MW Kingston plant.
The three engines would be out of operation for 18 days each with work starting on the first of them last Sunday.
GPL warned that using the high-speed Caterpillar sets could result in outages.
“In this arrangement there is the inherent risk that generation capacity may be inadequate due to forced (breakdown) outages. Recognizing this reality, GPL has published a load shedding guide in the Guyana Chronicle.”
The state company also revealed that it will be using NCN and CNS Channel 6 to advertise a daily load-shedding programme.
“Consumers should be advised that the level of load-shedding programmed is based on a demand forecast and if the demand happens to be less than the forecast, then the level of load-shedding will be reduced accordingly.”
The power company also called for patience, “GPL regrets the inconvenience load-shedding would cause but solicits the patience and understanding of its consumers. With fuel prices increasing daily and currently exceeding US$112 a barrel, on a weighted basis, GPL continues its call for consumers to conserve. Remember every effort counts.”
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