Skeldon generating set shut down after electrical problems

The 5 megawatts (MW) Wartsila power generating set at the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) Skeldon Factory is not working after encountering electrical problems.

The electrical problem affected the alternator of the power set, GuySuCo said in a statement issued yesterday. The unit supports the national grid during the out of crop period and was overhauled last year. It is supported by two other Wartsila Units each with a capacity of 2.5 MW, which are currently operational and available to the grid.

GuySuCo said it is unfortunate that the unit developed problems during the out of crop season, when it does not have the option of support to the grid via the co-generation turbines which are capable of generating 30 MW.

While GuySuCo did not say when the problem occurred, a source who has been working on the factory told this newspaper that the malfunction occurred about two weeks ago.

Experts, according to a source, have been called in to see the set functioning again before the end of July when the new crop starts.

In its statement, GuySuCo said the nature of the problem suggests that the equipment be inspected by experts to advise on options for its expeditious return to service. It added that it has since been in touch with Wartsila engineers, who are presently involved in local maintenance work with the Guyana Power and Light Company (GPL) and they have agreed to make available the specialist engineer to assist with the evaluation of the alternator, with the aim of having the plant back into operation as soon as possible.

Further, GuySuCo said GPL has been very supportive in offering assistance and it is also making alternative arrangements to make up for this shortfall in power generation to the Berbice grid.

“GuySuCo wants to assure the public that contrary to media reports no gag order has been in place prohibiting officials of the industry from speaking to the media about the issue,” the statement also said.

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