Skeldon producing energy, supplying GPL

- Ramsammy

The Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) is successfully producing energy at the Skeldon Cogeneration Plant and supplying to the Guyana Power and Light Inc (GPL) grid, according the Agriculture Minister Dr Leslie Ramsammy.

He revealed that for March, the plant generated 9,876 MWH of energy, with 54.2% of the total energy generated coming from turbine (bagasse-based) generation and 45.8% from diesel-based generation.

“…The Co-Gen Plant in Skeldon exported 5,644 MWH energy to the GPL National Grid in March. Of this amount, 1,410 MWH or 25% was from the bagasse-based turbine generators. The rest, 4,233 MWH was from the diesel-based generators,” Ramsammy said in a ministry press release, while noting that both APNU and the AFC have been misinforming the nation by claiming that Skeldon has exported zero MWH energy to the GPL grid.

Ramsammy told Stabroek News that the cogeneration plant was operational full time. This newspaper understands that the plant is responsible for 20MW of energy per hour and as a result the amount of energy produced for the month of March would require over 490 hours.

The cogeneration facility would need to be consistently producing energy 15 hours a day.

The original World Bank project information document prepared in 2005 and revised annually until 2008, states that surplus electricity would be generated at an average of 10 MW of electricity “delivering approximately 77 GWH (77000MWH) per year to the regional grid on a firm power, year-round basis. Of the 77 GWH (77000MWH) to be exported to the grid annually, about 85 per cent (65.45 GWH) will be generated directly from bagasse, with the balance from fuel oil during off-crop periods. In addition to the grid export, 58.8 GWH per year will be produced for internal use at the sugar mill.”

Stabroek News contacted GPL to confirm how much energy was being supplied to it by the cogeneration plant but it was told that the information would not be available. From speaking to an electrical engineer, Stabroek News understands that the cogeneration plant would need to be in operation almost 24 hours per day for the reported amount of energy being produced.

The engineer said that burning of fossil fuel would allow for such high levels of energy, but that level from the bagasse-based turbine generator would need to be queried.

He explained that the 1,410 MWH would correlate directly to the ability of the Skeldon factory to grind cane producing the bagasse husk.

Since the commissioning of the Skeldon plant, GuySuCo has promised energy production. Dr Ramsammy’s recent disclosure is the first of its kind with statistics being provided as to the current status of energy production. GuySuCo has remained fairly quiet on annual energy production since the Skeldon factory was commissioned in 2009.

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