Manufacturers from China are scheduled to arrive in Guyana later this week to repair the Guyana Power and Light (GPL’s) submarine cable, which links the Kingston and Vreed-en-Hoop substations.
Minister within the Ministry of Public Works Deodat Indar, told reporters on Monday that the repair works require technical advice and solutions. According to Indar, the cable should be fixed within two weeks, once repairs commence, but there has been no discussion on the costs for the repairs.
“For us to repair that cable it is a very technical job, we gotta bring in consultants from China to do that job…they told me as soon as they start, we are looking at two weeks to repair that cable but it is a completely severed cable. We have to have subsea divers to go under the river bed to fix that, it is a very technical job,” Minister Indar stated.
The cable was damaged by a vessel traversing the Demerara River; it was also damaged twice in 2019.
In a statement last week, GPL said to avoid future recurrences, “the decisive solution would be to bury the cable to a suitable depth to cater for an ultimate channel draught of 10 meters.”
In the meantime, the government has instructed the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) not to have any ship or vessel anchor in the vicinity where the cable is located along the bank of the Demerara River.
“MARAD has been instructed not to have any ship anchor in that vicinity and they will be putting additional processes in place for monitoring so if any ship goes there without permission they will be moved away quickly,” Indar said.
Additionally, the installation of the five Wartsila generators at GPL’s Garden of Eden, East Bank Demerara continues and is expected to meet the April 2021 deadline.
According to Indar, there were some delays with flooding but all issues have now been resolved.
Indar further stated that the six 1.6 Megawatt (MW) Caterpillar generators that arrived in the country at the weekend will be used on a demand basis. The generators were purchased to boost generating capacity by 9.6MW for the holiday season.
“We have to manage the demand on a daily basis to decide what you are going to do with those sets,” Indar explained.
Three of the units will be installed at GPL’s Sophia, Georgetown location, while the other three will be installed at GPL’s Onverwagt (West Berbice) location.
An additional four units were also procured as backups and three of these reserved units will be placed at GPL’s Canefield (East Berbice) location and one at GPL’s Anna Regina (Essequibo Coast) location.