Since May 12, there have been several electrical service interruptions within the Demerara/Berbice Interconnected System. Matters only got worse when the submarine cable linking Vreed-en-Hoop to the Kingston power station went down yet again.
Chief Executive Officer of Guyana Power Limited (GPL), Albert Gordon, said that the Kingston-Vreed-en-Hoop cable repairs would have taken several weeks.
But the situation has changed drastically; a temporary cable has been laid.
Divisional Director of Operations, Bharrat Harjohn, said that the laying of the cable started on Saturday and were completed by yesterday afternoon.
The 13.8KW cable was laid from the Guyana National Industrial Company Incorporated (GNIC) wharf, stretching to Vreed-en-Hoop. The cable which is smaller than the submarine cable that was damaged at Stabroek, was supplied from the storage units that are owned by GPL.
It would not be able to handle the amount of electricity that the damaged submarine cable conducted. According to Harjohn, the increased electricity is expected to be in the system by this evening.
The extra supply of electricity at the 26-megawatt power station at Vreed-en-Hoop, which is the biggest of its kind in the country, will be distributed to the eastern side of the grid, thus mitigating some of the power outages within Georgetown and eastern Demerara.
The Guyana Maritime Administration Department has been advising and taking the necessary precautions with GPL so that this operation could go smoothly.
Divers and technicians brought up the damaged cable on June 5, last. It could be seen that it was badly damaged, by what was suspected to be an anchor of a ship that passed or stopped on the Demerara River. According to the Director of Projects at GPL, Ryan Ross, the damaged cable should not have been laid the way it was.
Since 2015, the cable linking Vreed-en-Hoop and Kingston experienced defaults on three occasions, leaving East Demerara and Berbice without almost 14 megawatts of power. The cost to repair was more than US$1M on the last occasion a couple of years ago, not counting the loss of production hours that affected homes and businesses.
Gordon, Harjohn and Ross, at a GPL press conference at their Duke Street Corporate office, disclosed that US$100M is needed to build another cable across the Demerara River, another one to link the troubled line between Sophia and Kingston power plants, and other distribution and transmission upgrades.
Work will also have to target new generation sets. GPL is targeting the completion of these by 2023 and the company is currently sourcing financing and using some of its own resources.
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