GPL lays temporary submarine cable

─ works to wrap up today

DPI, Guyana, Monday, June 10, 2019

The Guyana Power and Light Incorporated (GPL) has been working around the clock to restore full power after last week’s incident that saw a cable link between Vreed-en-Hoop and Georgetown damaged.

The large-scale operation to lay a temporary cable across the Demerara river within the Port of Georgetown is in its final stage.

In an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI) at the Vreed-en-Hoop stelling where the operation is taking place, GPL’s Divisional Director of Projects, Ryan Ross provided an overview of the works.

“This cable is set to be a temporary solution to reduce the load shedding that has taken effect after a ship’s anchor damaged the 69-kilovolt cable”, he explained. To reduce the likelihood of an incident of this nature recurring, the GPL official pointed out some steps the company will be taking.

According to Ross, “what we [GPL] are trying to do is to geo-reference this cable to ensure that, [at] all the points along the length of the river, we have specific coordinates for it so that we are better informed now, and that the ships are better informed as to where exactly the cable is. What we’ll attempt to do is to add protection. We’ll attempt to bury it even further and to utilise metal pipes. We have never done that before.”

The 13.8 kilovolt cable will be buried at a depth of 3 metres along the mooring area where the ship anchors tend to be lowered. Since traffic on the upper-end of the river is not as busy as the Port of Geogetown, GPL is exploring the possibility of running the 69-kilovolt cable between Wales and Garden of Eden.

“So, there are two options. One is an overhead network, and one is a submarine cable”, Ross further explained.

With respect to the impact of the cable laying exercise on power production, Director of Operations, Bharat Harjohn noted, “with the shortfall of 14 megawatts [from the damaged cable], this cable in place will help us with at least 6 megawatts that will help with the generation shortfall on the eastern side [of the Demerara river]”.

The Director of Operations mentioned that the 13.8 kilovolt submarine cable that runs from Craig to Vriesland will be back in full operation soon. “They were able to attach it back to the feeder, so we have that circuit back into operation. They are energising it right now”, he related. Fortunately, the cable was not damaged after an anchor had pulled it off its connecting pole.

Chief Executive Officer of the firm undertaking the works, GAICO Construction and Engineering, Komal Singh noted that, “since this incident occurred on Sunday, we have been on this project since Monday. We started in Kingston to salvage the cable and find where the damage was, and since Monday we were able to locate that between Monday and Tuesday”. The CEO said there are thirty persons working on the project.

While the exercise to lay the cable from Vreed-en-Hoop to Princess Street is scheduled to conclude today, the permanent replacement will take place in August.

Images: Shaquille Bourne

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