Blackouts to continue
Major overhaul of power unit starts
Stabroek News
March 21, 2004

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The Guyana Power and Light Inc yesterday commenced a major overhaul of the Wartsila unit at the Kingston Power station.

A release from GPL said the work should have commenced on Tuesday, but it was postponed due to a shortfall in generation.

The exercise is estimated to last for ten days, but GPL and the Operations and Maintenance contractor of Demerara Power have agreed to seek ways to shorten the time span, the release said.

According to the release, in the meantime, GPL has put several measures in place to fill the 5.5 megawatt shortfall that the absence of the set will create. One such measure is bringing back on stream the second steam turbine at the old Kingston station. GPL said the first of the two 40-year-old steam turbines was put back on stream three weeks ago to cushion the shortfall caused by mechanical failure of two other units. The second turbine had been undergoing emergency maintenance and was returned to service yesterday. Together, the two turbines will add 12 megawatts of power to the Demerara system.

The GPL release further stated that fuel consumption is expected to rise when the old steam turbines come on stream. Coupled with the cost of overseas acquisition of new components for those generating sets under repair, the situation places an additional financial burden on the company. Therefore, the company is urging customers to pay up their bills, adding that conservation of electricity also becomes necessary.