Though delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and inclement weather shifted the intended April deadline, the five Wärtsilä generators at the Guyana Power and Light (GPL’s) Garden of Eden Power Plant are on track to be up and running by September this year.
They are expected to give the power grid an added boost of 46 megawatts (MW).
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GPL, Bharrat Dindyal, explained to the media on Wednesday at a soft commissioning of the generating units at the power station’s East Bank Demerara site that they will be manned by Wärtsilä with the technical experts already in place at the site.
“We are in the stage of final commissioning steps towards commercial operations and it is our expectation that by next month, we complete all the commissioning steps,” the CEO explained.
More work still needs to be done to link the gen-sets to the substation for power to be provided to the Demerara-Berbice Interconnected System and also to the transmission and distribution system before the plant can commence commercial operations.
Prime Minister Brigadier Retired Mark Phillips conducted the first commissioning of the generating sets at the Power Plant.
He said: “I can tell you that process went smoothly so I am satisfied that all five generators are working and it is only a matter of time before we have the 46MW of additionally electricity available to the people of Guyana.”
The Garden of Eden Plant was referred as only a “short-term” project in the government’s bid to provide 400MW of power in five years.
According to the PM, additional power will be received when the gas to energy project and the Amaila Falls Hydro-Power Project come on stream as well, to help achieve this goal.
The five generators, each of which has the capacity to generate 9.3 MW of power, is part of the bigger 46 MW project to revamp the Garden of Eden Plant.
The upgrade to the Garden of Eden generation plant, which was first commissioned in 1974 with two generators and later recommissioned in 1997 with two more generators, is being regarded as the largest generation project to date, promising landmark efficiency.
The upgrade to the plant marks the beginning of the transition to the use of natural gas, which will, in turn, reduce the cost for the generation of power.