– Automatic pumps being installed
Despite an intense eight-hour heavy downpour that caused widespread flooding within the
region last week, the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) has reported no damage at its still-under-construction US$26M power plant at Vreed-en-Hoop.
The state-owned multi-million-dollar power facility, which is expected to be the largest in the country, was no match for rising waters which completely inundated the compound and its environs. The facility had initially come in for scrutiny by its developers given the not-so-ideal type of land at the West Demerara location.
Given the extent of last Thursday’s flooding, it became evident that developers may be losing the battle when it comes to the weather and its effect on the riverside location.
When Kaieteur News visited the Vreed-en-Hoop station yesterday the water had already receded and construction works were continuing. The publication spoke to several staffers who explained that the facility was indeed flooded due to the non-installment of some automatic pumps which would have aided in flood prevention methods.
The men, who were seated at what was described as the foreman’s station, said that at present two pumps were being put in place to prevent a flooding recurrence at the location. When asked, one worker explained that it would be nearly impossible to try certain types of flood prevention measures given the type of land where the plant is located.
The Vreed-en-Hoop GPL plant is located a short distance away from the western banks of the Demerara River. The gentleman stated that the entire location close to the river had been flooded and the facility itself was not spared.
It was further explained that what is now being done is the installation of the automatic pumps. Although the men could not say when the pumps would be up and running, they pointed out that the equipment is designed to detect unusual water levels.
“They (pumps) are placed in a hole, and when the hole is filled with water then the pumps will automatically come on and start pumping water out of the facility,” the man added.
At the time Kaieteur News visited, the second pump was being installed, they said, and it was only left for it to be powered up and tested. The newspaper was told that the automatic pumps are most ideal to handle flooding issues.
The workers reported that the high water levels caused no damage to essential equipment. They said that the water did not penetrate, most importantly, the massive generators which operate at the location. “The water stayed on the outskirts of the facility.”
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GPL, Bharat Dindyal, said that the plant is currently being tested at full capacity; 26 megawatts. He said he was at the time unavailable to go into further detail since he was engaged in a meeting.
The US$26M project involves the installation of 26 megawatt generators at Vreed-en-Hoop. This would require the construction of a nearby fuel wharf to accommodate the large amounts of fuel that would have to be delivered for the facility’s daily operations. Almost 800 piles had to be driven for the foundation of the plant, while a $242M contract was awarded to BK International for the fuel wharf.
The operation, GPL said, is expected to significantly reduce the instances of power outages, while far-reaching locations can expect to benefit.
Last week’s heavy downpour left citizens battling over six inches of flood water which was sustained by a several-hour-long high tide.
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