Ex­pect mo­re outa­ges; sub­ma­ri­ne ca­ble re­pairs to ta­ke ano­ther month

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

A da­ma­ged sub­ma­ri­ne po­wer ca­ble across the De­me­ra­ra Ri­ver is not li­ke­ly to be re­pai­red for mo­re than a month with the Gu­y­a­na Po­wer and Light Inc. (GPL) Tues­day warning of outa­ges if any en­gi­nes in the De­me­ra­ra and Ber­bi­ce sys­tems should go down in the in­te­rim. Ac­cor­ding to the sta­te-ow­ned po­wer com­pa­ny, sig­ni­fi­cant ef­forts con­ti­nue to be in­jec­ted in­to the re­pair of the da­ma­ged fi­b­re op­tic ca­ble. “An in­te­gral com­po­nent ‘splicing kit’ is en rou­te to Gu­y­a­na. The ca­ble is pro­jec­ted to be in ope­ra­ti­on by No­vem­ber. We con­ti­nue to ex­press re­gret for this un­for­tu­na­te ex­pe­rien­ce and seek the pa­ti­en­ce of our va­lu­ed cus­to­mers,” a sta­te­ment from GPL said Tues­day. On Mon­day eve­ning, two GPL units at Ca­ne­field and On­ver­wagt, Ber­bi­ce, de­vel­o­ped me­cha­ni­cal and control pro­blems, res­pec­ti­ve­ly, and we­re re­mo­ved from ser­vi­ce. “As a re­sult, six me­ga­watts we­re una­vai­la­ble to meet the eve­nings’ peak de­mand and thus ne­ces­si­ta­ted load shed­ding in Ber­bi­ce,” GPL dis­clo­sed. GPL has en­ough en­gi­nes to ge­ne­ra­te the re­qui­red po­wer within East De­me­ra­ra and Ber­bi­ce even with the da­ma­ge to the sub­ma­ri­ne ca­ble, the sta­te­ment said. Ho­we­ver, the da­ma­ge to the ca­ble re­sul­ted in a loss of 16 me­ga­watts of ge­ne­ra­ti­on ca­pa­ci­ty from the new Vreed-en-Hoop Wart­si­la plant which was com­mis­si­o­ned last year with the in­ten­ti­on to help the in­cre­a­sing de­mand for po­wer. The sub­ma­ri­ne ca­ble was sup­po­sed to ta­ke the ex­tra po­wer from Vree­den-Hoop to sta­bi­li­ze the net­works in East De­me­ra­ra and Ber­bi­ce. Whi­le GPL does not ha­ve a big ge­ne­ra­ti­on is­sue in Ber­bi­ce and De­me­ra­ra, that ca­ble has pla­ced hards­hips on con­su­mers and pres­su­re on the Co­a­li­ti­on Govern­ment to fix the is­sues. In re­cent weeks, the­re ha­ve been nu­merous ca­ses of outa­ges.

The pro­blems with two Ber­bi­ce en­gi­nes on Mon­day would high­light how shaky GPL is at the mo­ment when it co­mes to ge­ne­ra­ti­on of po­wer. The built sub­ma­ri­ne ca­ble across the De­me­ra­ra Ri­ver is an in­te­gral part of a US$40M pro­ject to con­struct new trans­mis­si­on li­nes on the coast­land along with se­ven new sub­sta­ti­ons. The De­me­ra­ra Ri­ver ca­ble pro­vi­des a cri­ti­cal link bet­ween Kings­ton and Vree­den-Hoop. GPL bad­ly nee­ded the ex­tra po­wer from the 26-me­ga­watt Wart­si­la po­wer plant to help with its ge­ne­ra­ti­on.


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