Dec 01, 2020 News
Kaieteur News – A critical power cable across the Demerara River that links the East and West Demerara areas has been severed yet again.
The state-owned Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL) yesterday said that it is working to get the submarine cable fixed.
A statement said that on Friday, at approximately 07:08hrs, there was a fault on the 69kV submarine cable linking Vreed-en-Hoop and Kingston Power Plants resulting from suspected damage from a ship’s anchor.
“The cable was raised on Saturday, November 28th, at which time that damage was
confirmed and it was discovered that the cable was completely severed.”
GPL said that as a result of this incident, customers in regions 4, 5 and 6 were “intermittently” affected during the period- Friday, 2020 November 27 to Sunday, 2020 November 29.
“Efforts are currently underway in the Demerara River to determine the full extent of the damage to the submarine cable and subsequently the necessary requirements to rectify the problem.”
This is not the first time. It happened before, causing the East Demerara area to be without the extra power produced by Vreed-en-Hoop for weeks.
GPL explained that it had taken measures to prevent a recurrence. However, it has happened again.
It said that following last years’ similar maritime accident, it initiated several measures in tandem with Maritime Administration Department (MARAD).
These included a survey to determine and plot the location of the cable in the Demerara River and the updating of maritime charts including the position of the submarine cable and the publication of maritime notices indicating the boundaries of the submarine cable.
It also involved the placement of warning signs and hazard lights at both ends of the cable.
In terms of the short and medium term plans, GPL said it implemented a number of measures to prevent prolonged service interruptions when the 69 kV cable is disrupted.
These measures have resulted in the avoidance of widespread load shedding, GPL boasted.
It included that installation of a new 13.8kV Submarine Cable from Vreed-en-Hoop to Princess Street, which is being utilized to transfer power from the Vreed-en-Hoop Power Plant to the eastern side
of the DBIS via an alternative route and the installation of the new express feeder from Vreed en Hoop to Vriesland, West Demerara which facilitates the utilization of the cable from Vriesland to Craig, East Bank Demerara, as an additional alternative route.
There was also the installation of additional generating capacity in Berbice to make that area more self-sufficient and the importation of approximately 4MW from MCG Investments (Giftland Mall).
“Notwithstanding GPL’s efforts, the risk of short term outages is increased as the two systems operate without the 69 kV interconnection; these risks will be further addressed with implementation of GPL’s medium term plans…”
GPL said that these include the installation of an additional 10 MW of generating capacity by December 15, 2020; construction of the new 46.5MW at Garden-of-Eden by April 2021 and further improvements in the transmission and distribution system to build redundancy at the 69 kV and 13.8 kV levels.
“Meanwhile, GPL is working to expedite the repairs to the 69 kV cable. This will be facilitated by the fact that GPL bought extra repair kits for the cable and now have these in stock. These previously took months to manufacture as they are not stocked by suppliers.”
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