No issue at Skeldon co-gen plant
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BERBICIANS can expect a bright Christmas without any major power outages. This is the assurance given by the Skeldon Electricity Inc. (SEI) which has oversight for the GuySuCo Co-Generation plant.

The disclosure was made during a tour by media operatives of the co-generation plant at the Skeldon Estate in East Berbice, Corentyne earlier in the week.

In addressing the media, Member of the Board of Directors Gobin Harbajan disclosed that the plant has the capacity to produce 40 megawatts of electricity – 10 from the Wartsila engines, while 30 (15 each) from the two steam-driven turbines.

Harbajan stated that even during maintenance periods whenever the factory is not grinding there is enough power to ensure a constant supply of electricity for Berbicians.

“The two turbines will be off from December 17 for maintenance, but even with that out, the Wartsila engines will be able to supply 10 megawatts of power to the national grid which is enough to ensure we have a bright Christmas”.

Harbajan , who is also the Prime Minister’s Regional Representative said he noted some sections of the media and some opposition politicians had been claiming there was an issue with the co-generation plant and had been driving fear into Berbicians that they would have a dark Christmas when the factory closed during the out of crop season.

“We want to make it clear that there is no problem here at the co-gen plant, it is 100% operational and all major maintenance has been completed on the Wartsila engines and we will be supplying 10 megawatts of electricity to the national grid.”

Harbajan noted that unforeseen circumstances such as poles falling or transformers being damaged were not within the plants’ control to fix and the time they took to get back up depended on the pace and conditions under which Guyana Power and light had to work.

“If anything you may have distribution problems not generation problems. We will be supplying the power to the national grid and GPL distributes it. So if a pole falls the length of time the area will get blackout is entirely up to how quickly GPL can get the poles and transformers back up.”

He further explained that the reason there were some prolonged spells of blackout was due to failures in the distribution network.

“There were three poles that fell at #48 that had to be replaced and that took a while for GPL to fix because they had to source new poles and put them up. Another situation was where a farmer knocked down a pole and transformer that got damaged and it took a while as the transformer and pole both had to be replaced.”

Additionally, manager of the plant, Outar Ramhit, explained that whenever such incidents occur they do not affect the plant’s ability to generate the electricity but merely prevent them from getting it to the national grid until the power is resolved.

“Even if we are knocked out as a result of a pole falling or a transformer going down we power back up in less than 5 minutes but have to wait on GPL to let us know when we can send the power to the national grid as their staff might be working on the wires etc. On average it can take between 15-45 minutes to get back on to the grid.”

Also present at the meeting was Wartsila Site Manager, Eldon Watson.

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