GPL completes project to connect Demerara, Berbice

A section of the newly upgraded and expanded GPL Substation at Onverwagt, West Coast Berbice.

In one of its most significant developments, the state-owned power company yesterday announced that it has finally completed works to connect Berbice and Demerara.
In effect, the cable across the Berbice River, will serve to stabilize power in the Region Five and Six areas in Berbice, solving a longstanding problem.
According to the Guyana Power and Light Inc., the transmission link was completed 21:33hrs on Sunday, forming what will be known as the ‘Demerara Berbice Interconnected System’.
“This milestone has been decades in the making and has been finally achieved after many technical challenges were overcome. This development would allow GPL to transfer power from generating facilities in Demerara to consumers throughout Berbice, thereby improving the stability and reliability of power supply in Regions 5 and 6.”
With the new link in place, GPL will over the coming weeks be further fine-tuning the system to optimize performance and power quality.
“Some of these activities may result in short power interruptions. We will endeavour to inform you in advance of any such outages. Overall available generation capacity in Demerara and Berbice is now 100.6MW and the peak demand is 95MW.”
According to GPL, efforts are being made to repair some 6MW generating capacity within the next two weeks, while a 5.5MW Wartsila currently on overhaul is expected back in service by July 4th.
The works for the link would have involved the contractor, China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC), along with sub-contractors and GPL personnel from its Projects and Operations Divisions.
“Special mention should be made of the diligence and dedication of our Transmission and Distribution (T&D) and System Control and Engineering Services who braved adverse weather on Sunday to complete all the rearrangements on the transmission lines and distribution feeders.”
Government is currently working on a US$40M-plus project to run new transmission stretching along the coast to Berbice. Seven new sub-stations are also being built to help better manage the power and isolate problems. A US$26M power plant is also being built in Vreed-en-Hoop, West Bank Demerara.
The demand for power has been growing in recent years in the face of new housing schemes and more industries. Guyana is exploring the possibilities of hydro-electric power, to ease the dependability on imported oil for its engines.
A wind farm at Hope Beach, East Coast Demerara is also being developed.