Weeks after managing to successfully install an alternative submarine power cable across the Demerara River, the Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL) is currently looking for a more permanent fix.
Beginning last Wednesday, August 7th, the exercise across the Demerara River is expected to last 12 days.
A notice by the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) over the weekend said that the exercise will be between Vreed-en-Hoop, West Bank Demerara and Kingston, Georgetown.
Four vessels will be used to conduct the burying of the cable at least five meters.
The Chinese-laid cable was part of a US$40M project commissioned back in 2015.
It would have included new transmission lines, several sub-stations and submarine cables across the Demerara and Berbice rivers. However, the one across the Demerara River has been proving a major headache. Lying in the middle of the most traversed area, it has been damaged a number of times now.
The cost to repair the cable is in the tens of millions of dollars, but would pale in comparison to the cost of the power cuts that resulted as the Demerara and Berbice engines were not producing enough for the demand.
With a 26-megawatt power station at Vreed-en-Hoop, the last cable incident in June, suspected to be from a ship’s anchor, left Demerara and the inter-connected system to Berbice without the badly-needed power. It had led to prolonged outages.
GPL will now be attempting to correct the problems that came from the works of the Chinese contractor, CMC, by burying the submarine cable deeper.
In June, GPL successfully energized a new 13.8 kV submarine cable across the Demerara River linking the Vreed-en-Hoop and Kingston power plants via Princes Street.
On June 2, GPL’s 69 kV cable from Kingston to Vreed-en-Hoop sustained damage which resulted in the unavailability of 14 MW of generation to the eastern half of the Demerara-Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS).
The safety of the cable from potential damage due to ocean-going vessels will be monitored by MARAD.
The temporary 13.8 kV cable was providing over 5 MW of power to the eastern Demerara and Berbice Inter-connected System. It will be buried three metres.
It spans approximately 4,000 feet from Princes Street, Georgetown to the GPL power station at Vreed-en-Hoop, West Coast Demerara.
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