Wartsila liable for any repairs/damage at Garden of Eden Power Station
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Prime Minister Mark Phillips speaking to a reporter during a visit to the Garden of Eden power station
Prime Minister Mark Phillips speaking to a reporter during a visit to the Garden of Eden power station

–company commits to immediately dispatching engineers to correct problems, says Prime Minister

PRIME Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips on Friday evening held a special emergency meeting with the management of the Wartsila Corporation, where they agreed to immediately dispatch a team of engineers to Guyana to correct the technical challenges that have temporarily halted operations at the Garden of Eden Power Station.

According to the Prime Minister, the East Bank Demerara (EBD) facility is still under warranty, and as a result the contracted Finnish company would be liable for any and all expenses.

“As a government, we will ensure that this project is fixed, and that Wartsila covers the cost, since there is a warranty in place,” the Prime Minister said, adding that at the emergency meeting, he and his team let Wartsila know how disappointed they are that the new plant has developed problems at such an early stage.

POOR MANAGEMENT BY APNU+AFC
He said that poor project management during the initial stages of the project by the APNU+AFC administration has resulted in numerous hindrances.

Technicians discussing the problem at the power station

“This 46.5-megawatt project was problematic from the start; the APNU+AFC Government embarked on this project in a rushed manner,” the PM said, adding: “From August 2, 2020, we have been dealing with a lot of corrective work, as we seek to implement this project.”

TEMPORARILY HALTED
Late Friday afternoon, the Prime Minister visited the power station, and announced that operations at the facility will be temporarily halted as a result of technical challenges being experienced with the generators.
On the advice of the technical officials, a decision was taken to shut down the generators to avert any Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) challenges or any damage that may occur to the facility as a result.

“This is a decision that was made, based on safety. This is a US$55 million investment, and precautions are necessary; we don’t want anybody to be hurt, just because we decide to ignore what is happening and run the plant,” Prime Minister Phillips said, adding that with the Demerara Berbice Interconnected system now having less supply to cater to the demand for electricity, there may be load-shedding.

An unusual substance coming from the generators, which requires further investigation (Office of the Prime Minister photographs)

Calling on the public to be patient, the Prime Minister said: “I want the people of Guyana to understand, from a safety and precautionary standpoint, that it is necessary that we shut down this plant to do further checks; we will make sure that the problems are fixed. Unlike the previous administration, we intend to ensure that our people are given the best. One of the objectives of our government is to end blackouts, and I intend to see that come to pass.” (Office of the Prime Minister)

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