Second GPL Submarine Cable disrupted; West Bank without power

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A barge has caused the Guyana Power and Light’s (GPL)13.8kilovolt submarine cable to be dislodged in the vicinity of Craig on the East Bank Demerara, leaving residents of from Vriesland to La Retraite, West Bank Demerara (WBD) without electricity.

This incident which occurred at around 04:23 hrs on Thursday, came four days after the 69kV submarine cable was damaged offshore the power company’s Kingston, Georgetown operations.

In a statement on Thursday evening, the company disclosed that the affected residents will be without electricity until 07:46 hrs on Friday.

GPL said efforts are underway to alternatively power these customers from the Vreed-en-Hoop Substation while the cable which was located by deep water divers is being retrieved to examine it for damages.

Also damaged affected during the incident were the company’s onshore transmission and distribution infrastructure that connects to the cable. Repairs are being completed to the infrastructure.

Additionally, as it relates to the 69kV submarine cable which was damaged on Sunday last, the company said an examination was concluded and no further damage was found.

On Wednesday, it was revealed that revealed a compromised section of the cable approximately 0.7 km offshore from the Kingston power station was found.

Damaged cable (GPL photo)

The damage cable laid on the river bed along the channel of the Demerara River connected the Vreed-en-Hoop and Kingston Power Stations, transferring 14megwatts of current from Vreed-en-Hoop to Georgetown.

Officials from the China Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC) –the contractor which laid the cable in 2012 –were a part of the efforts to retrieve and examine the submarine cable and are at present preparing a curative plan of action, GPL said.

In the interim, the Company is continuing to engage the Maritime Administration (MARAD) in identifying an alternative route to lay a 13.8kV submarine cable along the Demerara River, in an effort to reconnect the Vreed-en-hoop operations to the Eastern sections of Demerara Berbice Interconnected System.

“Both entities are also engaged in discussions regarding establishing improved maritime conduct within proximity of our submarine cables,” GPL said.

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