Generator at Matthews Ridge operational

─additional fuel filtration systems to be implemented

The generator at Matthews Ridge has been restored to normal operations, after a few glitches interrupted power supply last week.

Aerial shot of Matthews Ridge

Chief Executive Officer of the Hinterland Electrification Company Incorporated (HECI), Mr. Horace Williams said the problem has been rectified, following several complaints. 

“We had a few shutdowns on low frequency and when we investigated, it was based on the quality of fuel that was delivered to the location at the time,” Mr. Williams told DPI.

The HECI head said the fuel used in the generator had sediments which resulted in blockages and the subsequent power interruptions.

Mr. Williams added the power company will use additional fuel filtration systems to eliminate both sediments and water from procured fuel to prevent a recurrence.

“Before the end of the week [we] expect to have those systems in place,” he said.

The generator is reported to have functioned throughout the weekend without fault.

On December 23, the approximately $6 million generator was installed to increase stable power supply in the community.

Between April and August of 2020, residents of Matthews Ridge were without electricity due to dysfunctional generators.

Minister of Public Works, Hon. Bishop Juan Edghill highlighted this matter during the discussions of Financial Paper No 2 of 2019 in Committee of Supply last month.

“When we arrived at the Ministry, the seven areas that are being served by generated power in the Hinterland Electricity Programme, those generators have not been adequately maintained and serviced and there was an immediate request for $281 million, almost $282 million, to carry out much needed repairs on these generators.

“When we took office, Matthews Ridge was without power for months. Port Kaituma was suffering. Mabaruma was suffering. Kwakwani was having power four, five hours a day,” Minister Edghill had said.

Since taking office, the Administration rolled out its plans to transform the electricity sector. Concerning off-grid locations like Matthews Ridge, Prime Minister Hon. Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips, in October, said power stations would be built which are powered by renewable energy sources. 

These stations would be for hinterland communities that are not connected to GPL’s grid and would include the flagship Amaila Falls Hydropower Project and similar renewable energy stations in Kato Village, Region Eight and at Kumu Falls, Region Nine.

Aside from the construction of solar farms, some $2 billion has already been allocated for the purchase of solar panels for Amerindian communities. 

The Prime Minister has said that the use of solar, wind and hydroelectricity sources are critical to the energy mix the Government is working to establish.

The PPP/C during the 2020 elections campaign pledged to improve the quality of life for all citizens though the provision of cheaper and more reliable electricity as is stated on page 25 of the party’s manifesto.

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