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GPL’s Vreed-en-Hoop power plant to begin generation in July

From right Project Coordinator Lennox McGregor, Chairman of the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Board of Directors , Winston Brassington, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bharrat Dindyal and, and Divisional Director Narvon Persaud during a visit to the Vreed-en-Hoop power station. (GINA photo)

The US$30M power plant being constructed at Vreed-en-Hoop , when switched on in July, is expected to increase generating capacity from a current 87 megawatts to 106 megawatts in Demerara, officials said Friday.

Prime Minister Samuel Hinds along with the Guyana Power and Light’s (GPL’s) Chief Executive Officer, Bharrat Dindyal and Chairman of the power company’s Board of Directors, Winston Brassington, Project Coordinator Lennox McGregor and Divisional Director Narvon Persaud on Friday visited and inspected works ongoing at the power station, Region Three.

During the visit, Prime Minister Hinds expressed satisfaction with the progress that has been made despite the challenges the contractor encountered.

The plant is expected to begin commercial operations by July, and will also be connected to close by power stations. Persons residing as far as Berbice are expected to benefit.

Prime Minister Hinds said that the equipment are on site and buildings are going up. He said that there is a lot of work still to be done; however, generally works are improving.

Dindyal disclosed that technically 98% of the materials needed for the construction are on site, but due to challenges with storage, the rest of it are stored at the John Fernandes Wharf.

Dindyal pointed out that thus far, 20% of the plant is completed. “There is still a bit of work to be done. On the western side, we are still working on the foundation for two large bulk storage tanks which will have the capacity of 2000 cubic meters each,” Dindyal explained.

A new port is also being constructed at the northern side of the plant to receive fuel and part of that contract was awarded to BK International.

This project is behind schedule due to challenges in terms of the foundation being laid. The CEO explained that the soil at the construction site is very poor and almost 900 piles, the longest GPL has ever used, had to be driven under the foundation, and these were difficult to acquire.

“When the contractor came here as soon as the equipment came off the dam it started to sink and they started to dump sand and the sand would be disappearing overnight…eventually they had to bring in geotextile materials to allow for some consolidation,” Dindyal added.

Dindyal also mentioned that the rain and high tide have also stalled works. He said that a revetment wall will be constructed around the perimeter of the site and two pumps will also be installed to drain water.

There were also some delays with the Golden Grove and North Ruimveldt sub-stations which are currently under construction, and the expansion at the Onverwagt power plant. Dindyal said that there were some issues with the contractors who made some claims for additional payments which are in excess of US$3M