Brigadier Prime Minister (ret’d) Mark Phillips was satisfied, on Tuesday afternoon, after examining the repairs made to Guyana Power and Light’s (GPL) 69kV submarine cable recently.
The Deputy Head of State was accompanied by a Minister in the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar, Chinese Ambassador to Guyana, Cui Jianchun, CEO of GPL, Mr. Bharat Dindyal, Deputy CEO – Strategic Operations, Mr. Samaroo Ramtahal and China Representative Andrew Jin, National Machinery Import and Export Cooperation.
The 69kV submarine cable connects Vreed-en-Hoop and Kingston GPL substations and allows for the transfer of electrical power to the Demerara-Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS).
Prime Minister Phillips said the repairs to the damaged cable had been completed and would be tested later tonight.
“We will test the cable tonight, in tomorrow and based on what I am told, by tomorrow night, it should be up and running and we will be able to get the balance of the (electrical) load from Vreed-en- Circle to the rest of the System Demerara-Berbice Interconnected. “
The Prime Minister said this means Guyanese on the coast can now expect a stable supply of electricity for Christmas.
The First Minister also expressed his gratitude to the Chinese Ambassador for bringing a team of four Chinese engineers to Guyana, to assist with the repairs.
Ambassador Cui said he was happy to help. He added that China and Guyana were good friends and that friends were expected to help each other in difficult times.
“We always say that China and Guyana share a strong relationship and we are good friends… This is not about the money; this is really about needs and I commend the Government for being a people-centered Government, ”said the Ambassador.
Minister Indar said the cable was severely damaged and the Government will seek to recover the costs incurred on the repairs. He said the cost had already been estimated at around US $ 500,000.
“It’s not a plug and a play, it’s a serious job that required logistics … We’re going to chase back the ship owners, the insurance and the agents, for every single dollar we spent. This was not our fault. ”
The Minister added that the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) had already issued instructions to maritime operators that Area B (the area where the cable is located), is now a restricted zone and operators have been prohibited from mooring their ships there.
“Because the cable is damaged four times, every time it gets cut it gets shorter … ships can’t anchor there, we have to monitor that,” said Minister Indar.
The 69kV submarine cable was damaged in late November after being hit by a ship anchor in the Demerara River. [Extracted and modified from the Department of Public Information]