Power ship reaches maximum capacity of 36MW – GPL

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
The 36-megawatt power ship docked at Everton, Berbice

Over the weekend, the power ship stationed at Everton, East Bank Berbice incrementally increased its generation output to 35 megawatts to the Demerara-Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS).

Today, a capacity test was completed, confirming the power ship is now at its maximum capacity of 36 megawatt.

This is according to a brief statement from the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Inc. which noted that “this significant boost in generation has resulted in a reduction in service interruptions.”

The vessel started injecting power into the national grid since May 9 and the plan was to incrementally increase the generating amount until the full 36 MW capacity is achieved.

The floating power plant arrived in Guyana on May 1 and has been docked at Everton on the East Bank of Berbice in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), where it will be stationed for the next two years as it sends electricity into the DBIS.

Over the past few weeks, GPL has been preparing the necessary infrastructure for the 36-MW power ship to be connected to the national grid.

The power company had noted that in addition to its internal Engineering Services Division, Transmission and Distribution, and Protection and Instrumentation employees, the National Data Management Authority (NDMA); GAICO Construction and General Services Inc., and E-Networks made an “invaluable contribution” towards realising this initiative.

GPL’s Chief Executive Officer Kesh Nandlall previously told this publication that specialists were brought in to ensure that the transfer of power from the vessel into the grid was done without any hiccups.

Only two weeks ago, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo had said the Government hoped that this connection would be able to stop the frequent blackouts experienced by Guyanese in recent months as a result of low generating capacity. In the same breath, however, he said there could still be some power outages.

“We’re hoping that with the 36 megawatts now added to the system, that we’ll have enough power in the system to end the current spate of blackouts which comes from the unavailability of power… There may be isolated instances, because of the poor transmission and distribution system,” Jagdeo had noted.

According to the Vice President, Government was still looking to get an additional 30 megawatts of power through a similar arrangement until the much-anticipated Gas-to-Energy Project comes on stream next year.

Last month, GPL signed a multimillion-dollar deal with Qatar-based Urbacon Concessions Investments, W.L.L (UCI) for the rental of the 36-MW floating power plant for two years in a move to add much-needed capacity to the grid. While the rental deal was signed with UCI, the power ship is owned by Turkey-based Karpowership International.

As part of this agreement, GPL has already paid a US$1 million mobilisation fee. The power company also has to pay a fee of 6.62 US cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) as a monthly charter fee for the power ship and a monthly operation and maintenance fee of 0.98 US cents per kWh based on electricity generated. GPL is also required to provide Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) for the operation of the generators onboard the vessel.

The State-owned power company has been experiencing generation shortfalls due to an unprecedented rise in electricity demand coupled with challenges from its aged equipment. In March, two of GPL’s engines failed disrupting power generation across the country.

Before this vessel was connected to the grid, GPL was generating about 165 megawatts of power. However, the peak demand is about 180 megawatts.