Old cable, poor distribution system blamed for frequent blackouts

first_imgThe old submarine cable for the Vreed-en-Hoop Power Station is responsible for the recent blackouts, Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson has said.The minister said that the submarine cable for the Vreed-en-Hoop station in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) is damaged, and that normally when the power outage occurs, it would be reconnected immediately since there is in excess of 16 megawatts of power.However, “If the light trips again, it blocks the entire area, so the lights would have to be reconnected in sections, which is the cause of the problem.“As we find them (problems) we reconnect, but unfortunately it disconnects before you can identify where to fix because it’s a very old system,” the minister told the Government Information Agency (GINA) on Monday.The minister explained that he recently met with the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) board to improve response time to at least 15 minutes.However efforts are underway to repair the cable, but the operation is specialised and so quotations are out and work would commence shortly.“In Demerara, it’s not a question of generators, since all the generators are working, but it is a question of the distribution system,” Minister Patterson pointed out.The aged system is ineffective and results in frequent blackouts in the East Bank, West Bank and East Coast Demerara areas.“The system trips, and when it trips we have to close the circuit immediately, and that is the primary cause of the blackouts,” the minister said.The Infrastructure Minister explained that efforts are being made to implement a programme to upgrade the distribution system, and the contract will be awarded shortly. Priority will be on fixing the old distribution system to make it more effective.On Sunday evening, sections of the East Bank Demerara were without electricity for more than nine hours.last_img read more