— require significant investments to upgrade or replace
SIGNIFICANT investments will have to be made in the near future by the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) to either upgrade or replace the power plants at Kingston and Garden of Eden as they approach the end of their useful lives.
This is according to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Power Producers and Distribution Incorporated (PPDI) Arron Fraser in a recent interview with the Guyana Chronicle.
Fraser said given the fact that the four power plants located at Kingston, Vreed-en-Hoop and Garden of Eden are owned by GPL, though managed and maintained by PPDI, GPL would have to effect the necessary upgrades or replacements.
The Kingston Power Plant is approximately 20 years old, while the Garden of Eden Power Plant is 23 years old. The estimated useful life of these plants is 30 years.
“There is a need for investments in these facilities, be it upgrade of equipment, replacement of equipment, replacement of obsolescent equipment,” Fraser told this newspaper.
He said failure to make the necessary investment within a timely manner can put the operations of PPDI at risk.
“The biggest challenge that I see is for GPL to understand that some of the plants, specifically Garden of Eden and this Kingston plant are approaching the end of their useful life. So there is a real need for obsolescent management, especially in the older plants, Garden of Eden and this Kingston plant,” the PPDI CEO explained.
He added: “There is need for investment now. If those investments aren’t made, then that is the biggest risk we face.”
Fraser noted that GPL has been informed of the situation and has indicated that rehabilitative work would commence, but this commitment was a verbal one.
“As we speak now, there isn’t that documented, signed-off commitment, but we expect that to happen soon, very soon,” the PPDI CEO said.
GPL Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Technical) Elwyn Marshall, on Sunday told the Guyana Chronicle that while there is no budgetary allocation for the upgrade or replacement of the two power plants this year, the company is fully aware of the ages of the Kingston and Garden of Eden power plants.
He said in time to come, GPL will take the necessary action, be it to upgrade or replace the obsolescent equipment.
The four power plants at Kingston, Vreed-en-Hoop and Garden of Eden are interconnected, and as such, the electricity generated is fed to the Sophia Power Station for distribution.
With effect from January 1, 2017, PPDI took over the operations of Wärtsilä – a Finnish company which had been offering operational and maintenance services to GPL since 1994.
At an extremely cheaper rate, PPDI, a self-sufficient, Guyanese-run company, has been offering the same services to GPL, and is expected to save the Government in excess of US$2M annually.
PPDI is generating the electricity, while GPL is responsible for its distribution.