Construction begins to connect powership to national grid

Preparations are underway in Everton, Berbice, Region Six, for the connection of a 36-megawatt power ship to the national grid.

The Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Incorporated has commenced the construction of transmission lines at the ship’s site.

Ongoing works for the transmission lines to connect 36MW powership to Demerara Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS)

GPL’s engineers and other technical staff were observed setting up poles to connect conductors from the Demerara Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS) at Everton to the vessel, which will be anchored in the Berbice River.

The power company has signed a multi-million-dollar contract with Urbacon Concessions Investments, W.L.L (UCI), a subsidiary of UCC Holdings in Qatar, in collaboration with Karpowership International from Turkey, to rent the ship for two years, to meet the current electricity demand.

During an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), Divisional Director – Engineering Services GPL, Ryan Ross said technical personnel are working arduously to accommodate the vessel’s arrival on May 1.

Divisional Director, Engineering Service, Ryan Ross

“We’re also examining the possibility of having a sub-station installed at this location to give us the kind of flexibility that will allow for a continuous interconnection, even if a section of the transmission line is faulted,” the engineer further expounded.

He added, “There are three sections currently. There is an eastern section of transmission line l21, which will be between the barge and Cane Field power station and Cane Field substation [there is the] western side, which will connect to our Onverwagt sub-station and then the barge itself will interconnect separately onto the two lines.”

Ross emphasised that the company’s main priority is completing preparatory works to connect the power ship and other technical tasks, such as the distribution network, will be done gradually.

The vessel is expected to be fully operationalised and delivering electricity by May 8, 2024, depending upon favourable weather conditions. It will operate at 96 per cent availability and will be connected to GPL’s grid at 69 kV.

GPL signed the contract on April 13 and has already paid a mobilisation fee of US$1 million for the vessel’s rental. The company will pay US 6.62 cents per kilowatt hour as a monthly charter fee for the powership, and a maintenance fee of 0.98 US cents per kWh, based on electricity generated.

This initiative is part of the government’s endeavour to provide much-needed relief to citizens, particularly in light of the challenges faced by GPL. These challenges include infrastructure deterioration and growing electricity demand, which has led to electricity shortfalls.

President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali has acknowledged the inconvenience faced by citizens and has defended the government’s decision to purchase emergency power, emphasising that the agreement is a feasible solution.

Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo during a party press conference, also assured that this would not result in an increase in electricity costs during the vessel’s rental period.

Since 2020, the government would have purchased 127 megawatts of additional generating capacity, inclusive of the 36mw that will be generated by the powership.