With aging generators and a growing demand, the state-owned Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL) has reportedly picked Wartsila to build a massive power plant at Garden-of-Eden (GoE), East Bank Demerara.
According to officials close to the deal, an agreement was clinched about a week or two ago for a 46-megawatts, dual-fire power plant at the GoE location.
GPL has not formally announced the deal.
It will cost in excess of US$50M, Kaieteur News has been told.
The engines will be capable of using natural gas, from Guyana’s offshore oil wells- as well as heavy fuel oil (HFO).
Currently, at that location, there is an installed capacity of over 22 megawatts (Mw) with the engines more than two decades old. There is enough space for additional plants.
There are also additional transmission lines to take additional power to the sub-stations.
GPL would be hoping to not only improve its reserves, but dependability.
It barely has enough reserves from spare engines at the moment and is skating on thin ice.
There have been cases in the past where a number of engines were down at once, forcing GPL to cut power in scheduled outages.
Wartsila is the Finnish company which managed generators for GPL for about two decades before Government decided to handle it themselves.
The staffers from Wartsila were rehired with the new state company, Power Producers and Distributors Inc. (PPDI) currently managing four power plants – at GoE (22 MW), Kingston Number One (22mw), Kingston Number Two (36.3 MW) and Vreed-en-Hoop (26.4mw).
PPDI, according to its 2018 report, is responsible for a total electrical output of 106.7 megawatts of installed power generation
Since learning that it has a significant quantity of gas in offshore field being developed by ExxonMobil and its partners, the Coalition Government has been moving to build a power plant.
It advertised for expressions of interest (EoI) with indications that 27 of these came back in 2018.
There were at least five Chinese companies among the 27 expressions.
GPL had invited expressions for firms to build, own and operate 50 MWs capacity natural gas power plant.
There are interests from Colombia and Venezuela. Companies in Qatar, Dubai, Trinidad and Tobago, United States and the United Kingdom, also made EoI submissions.
The scope of work for the project comprised all activities necessary to develop, finance, insure, install new plant and equipment, test, commission, own, operate and maintain the power generation facility.
The project also entails the construction of associated substations, fuel storage facility and other related facilities for complete operation, generation and transmission of electricity to the national grid.
Guyana had toyed with building a 165-Mw hydro project at Amaila Falls, Region 8, but this was shelved after the Coalition, in Opposition then, shot it down.
Kaieteur News was told that Wartsila has been engaging local contractors and will be handling the civil works themselves.
In the past, GPL had managed the Vreed-en-Hoop power plant construction, but it had been delayed by months. So too, was the Anna Regina power station.
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