Blackout woes… as GPL blames tripped transformer for latest blackoutsThe Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Demerara Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS) shut down on Tuesday without notice, causing those connected to the grid to be without power again, an increasing phenomenon in recent weeks.While the power company has blamed a tripped transformer for Tuesday’s widespread blackout, sources close to the utility company’s operations are in fact blaming the shoddy works of the contractors that ‘upgraded’ the grid recently at a cost of US$42 million, coupled with inferior infrastructure and the displaced Wärtsilä managers as among the key reasons for the now incessant shutdowns.The power company in a subsequent public missive said “At approximately 08:30h this morning (Tuesday), a transformer trip at our Kingston power station caused the DBIS to experience a shutdown. Restoration efforts commenced immediately and most areas were repowered at approximately 09:45h with the exception of Sophia, La Penitence, East Ruimveldt, West Ruimveldt and a section of the East Bank, between Herstelling and Craig. These areas were re-powered at 13:00h.”Guyana Times has since learnt that the transformers referred to by GPL are not those seen installed on utility poles but instead are used to step up the power generated at the Kingston plant.It was explained that the generating sets in fact produce 13.8V which is then fed through the transformer and stepped up to 69KV which is then transferred to the Sophia distribution centre.There are several recent incidents according to Guyana Times source, where the power company experienced outages but are unsure as to the cause.It was explained too that in many instances, Rural Cut Offs (ROC) which have been installed across the grid failed to effectively work which causes complications for the entire grid.This publication was told that the ROCs are meant to act as fuses that would trip in case of surges or other malfunctions, hence isolating that section of the grid.This does not obtain however, since the installed ROCs are in many instances not functioning, resulting in the surges not being contained. As such, it affects the entire grid. They have been described as defective which prevents them from functioning effectively.Electricity woes being experienced on the West Bank of Demerara are also being blamed on not only the inferior infrastructure in place but the actual design and location of the Vreed-en-Hoop plant.It was explained that a recent explosion at the Craig, East Bank Demerara feeder which supplies electricity to sections of the West Bank of Demerara laid this bare since electricity could not have been diverted; the feeders in place could not accommodate the load.Speaking with sources familiar with the operations of the utility company, the lengthy scheduled delays have also been pinpointed as a result of the removal of the Wärtsilä managers.It was explained that there are currently two generating sets down at the recently rehabilitated Kingston Plant and while it is common for such systems to undergo scheduled repairs, under the Wärtsilä Management the procurement of and installation of the critical components were completed within two weeks.The two generating sets current down for repairs are not expected to be back up and running within weeks but rather months.The lengthy scheduled delays have led in part to the load shedding phenomenon since the utility company at times does not have the generation capacity to meet the demands, especially during peak hours.Ever since the change in management, the scheduled outages have now begun to take months at a time since the procurement of the components are often times delayed.Tuesday’s unscheduled outage comes less than two weeks after the power company’s Public Relations Officer had promised an end to the chronic black outs currently besieging those connected to the national grid.Social media has in recent weeks and months been abuzz with sometimes profanity laced statements by Guyanese voicing their displeasure at the incessant spate of blackouts being experienced.The power company’s PRO, Shevion Sears had told members of the local media corps, when the Skeldon Wärtsilä units and the Co-Generator plant are fully functional, the available generating capacity is 137 megawatts. She noted that the total generating capacity in the DBIS is currently 106 megawatts.“Which means we are operating with a generation shortfall of approximately three megawatts during the day peak, and six megawatts during the night peak,” she explained.Giving a breakdown of the planned and unplanned maintenance work at the time, Sears said three engines at Garden of Eden were down for maintenance overhaul work.One of these engines constitutes 5.5 megawatts, while the other two are 6.9 megawatts.
0Shares0000UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has defended the decision to host the Europa League final in Baku © AFP / FERENC ISZABERLIN, Germany, May 24 – UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has defended the decision to host the Europa League final in Baku in an interview with German news magazine Der Spiegel set to be published on Saturday.Chelsea and Arsenal are set to play in Baku on May 29, and UEFA has faced heavy criticism, both for the distance of the venue from London and over Azerbaijan’s record on human rights. Ceferin, 51, told Der Spiegel that the final would be played in Baku because “there are people who live there who love football”.“The human rights situation is a problem, but it is also a problem in other European states. Does that mean the fans in Baku do not deserve live football?”The controversy over Baku increased this week, when Arsenal’s Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan decided not travel to the final amid concerns for his safety.The UEFA president said that the decision was Mkhitaryan’s to make, and said that Azerbaijan had given guarantees about the player’s safety.“If football allows itself to be stopped by such tensions, then we will not be able to organise anything in future,” said Ceferin.“We managed to organise a safe European Championships in France when the country was a target of terrorist attacks.”Ceferin also said that he was in no rush to reform the UEFA Champions League.“If you ask me, there is no need to change anything,” he said.The 51-year-old said that UEFA were in a “consultation phase” over reforms proposed earlier this year by the European Club Association.The proposals envisaged a restructuring of all European club competitions into a three-tiered system with internal relegation and promotion from 2024.Ceferin said that UEFA had already vetoed a suggestion to hold Champions League games at the weekend, saying that “this will not happen”.– ‘The Chinese are nice people’ –Yet he also called for a more measured approach to the reform proposals, and argued that UEFA had to respond to its global market.“Football is the only European product which is the best in the world in its field by some distance.”“The Champions League is a global product, it is getting bigger in China and the USA. Why should Chinese fans not be treated well? They are nice people.“Everything is dramatised. The usual suspects start shouting about the death of football and demand more solidarity.“I think that the five big leagues should give money to the federations in smaller countries when they sell TV rights there. Because if you show the top leagues on TV, you weaken the football in the smaller markets.”Ceferin said he was not afraid that the top clubs would attempt to break away from UEFA to form a separate European super league.“That will never happen. The clubs know that it would be a pretty boring competition.”“The national leagues are also important for the clubs to keep the link to their fans.”0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)