Power producer says blackouts are a distribution problem, not power generation

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The company responsible for power generation on Friday said that the problem of unscheduled blackouts has nothing to do with power generation but rather with the distribution of the power generated.

During a tour of the Kingston, Georgetown power station, the Power Producers and Distributors Incorporated (PPDI) said only one of its generator is currently down.

The company’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Operations), Brian Goodridge said the generator will not be working for another month.

“This generator was down in early May and the [alternator] for it is out for repairs in Miami so we’re waiting for that to come back so by mid-July we should have that up and running again,” he told the media.

The Guyana Power and Light Company (GPL) has been struggling to supply reliable electricity to residents serviced by the Demerara/Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS) following damages to its submarine cable across the Demerara River.

That cable transferred 14 megawatts of power to Georgetown. As a result of the damage, the power company has been conducting 8-hour load shedding activities.

The interior of the Kingston power station

A temporary cable has since been installed and transfers six megawatts of power to decrease blackouts while the substantive cable is being fixed.

However, prior to the damage of the cable on June 2nd, residents experienced frequent unscheduled power blackouts.

Goodridge on Friday said the issue is not one of generation but distribution. He said: “We produce the power to the grid; GPL basically handles that distribution side of it so they will be able to explain whatever issues that is affecting the distribution system.”

The company said additional generators will help to address the issue when its current units are down as one will be on standby.

Director General of the Ministry of Presidency Joseph Harmon on Friday at a Post Cabinet media briefing said the Board of the Guyana Power and Light Company (GPL) will Monday decide if to buy two new generators from Macorp and source five megawatts of electricity from the Giftland Mall.

On the distribution side, Chief Executive Officer of GPL, Albert Gordon recently told the media that the company’s transmission lines are not duplicated to assist if one cable is damaged, thereby contributing to an entire shutdown of the system.

PPDI also refuted claims that substandard spare parts are being used in the execution of its maintenance activities, taking the media and three persons who protested the Ministry of Public Infrastructure into its stores.

“We would like to inform all stakeholders that the claim of Chinese made spare parts being used in the execution of our maintenance activities is completely false.

“As a matter of fact, our Operations & Maintenance Agreement with our sister state entity, The Guyana Power & Light Inc., specifically states the use of Original Equipment Manufacturer spares and supplies and explicitly prohibits any such attempts,” the company noted in a subsequent statement.

The two major suppliers of its operations are Wartsila and ABB Turbochargers.

PPDI is responsible for managing four power plants – two at Kingston, one at Garden of Eden, East Bank Demerara and one at Vreed-en-hoop, West Coast Demerara.

Chief Executive Officer of the company, Dr. Arron Fraser, said efforts are being made for the company to undertake the maintenance and operations of other power plants.

The company is also working on its documentation for it to be licensed to be an independent supplier of power.

When this is done, it will be able to also look for its own source of funding to manage its operations.

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