PM conducts tests at GPL’s new power generation facility

Says country will soon benefit from significant boost to national grid

Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) the Honourable Mark Phillips, this afternoon tested the five dual-fuel power generating sets at GPL’s Garden of Eden power plant.

After the inspection, the Senior Government Official said that he was impressed with their overall performance.

“I had the opportunity of starting each of the generators, running it for five minutes, then shutting it down, and I can tell you that the process went smoothly, so I am satisfied that all five generators are working and it’s just a matter of time before we have the 46.5 megawatts of additional electricity available to the people of Guyana”.

The Prime Minister said that although the new generating sets will significantly boost the capacity of the Demerara – Berbice interconnected system, the project is just a small part of what the Government has planned for the energy sector.

“Our strategic outlook is to provide 400 megawatts of power over the next five years, utilising fossil fuel, utilising gas from the gas to shore project and renewable energy in the form of solar, wind and hydropower”.

Chief Executive Office of GPL, Bharat Dindyal, explained that although the timeline for the new power plant has shifted as a result of the challenges of COVID-19, the facility is in its final phase of testing before it is fully commissioned.

He said that the generators will next be linked to the national gird through the sub-station and then load tested individually, before being run at full capacity continuously for five days.

“The sub-station has to be commissioned, because that’s the link between the plant and GPL’s system, so when that is commissioned, we’ll be in a position to start sending power to the national grid…the other thing is the load testing of the individual engines and of course, the entire plant, the engines were started today and were run on idle, so to do them on load, we have to connect them to the GPL system and keep increasing the output to get up to 9.3 megawatts [each]”.

The CEO added that, once commissioned, the facility will most likely be operated by Wartsila.

“Wartsila operations will be running the plant, we are negotiating with them now on the operations and maintenance agreement”.

He said that although GPL has a history with Wartsila, the contract depends on multiple factors, including cost, since GPL will have to sell the power to consumers.   Also present this afternoon was Chairman of the GPL Board of Directors, Maurice Gajadhar.