2nd GPL submarine cable down; more blackouts expected

The barge involved in the incident

A second Guyana Power and Light Inc. submarine cable was disrupted on Thursday due to another maritime accident that occurred four days after the disruption of the 69kV submarine cable.
This 13.8kV submarine cable, which rests along the upper Demerara River within proximity of Craig, East Bank Demerara, was dislodged by a barge sailing along the Demerara River at around 04:23h on Thursday.
As a result of this incident, West Demerara customers from Vriesland to La Retraite were without electricity until 07:46h, while efforts were underway to alternatively power these customers from the Vreed-en-Hoop Substation.
According to a release from the GPL, the dislodged cable was located on Thursday afternoon by deep-water divers, and efforts are being made to hoist and examine it for damages.
“Repairs were effected to the onshore transmission and distribution infrastructure that connects to the cable, as this was also damaged during the incident”, the release stated.
This is the second cable to have developed faults, triggering widespread and prolonged blackouts in the country.
However, GPL has concluded its examination of the 69kV submarine cable laid on the river bed along the channel of the Demerara River, and connecting its Vreed-en-Hoop and Kingston Power Stations. This was the first cable to be damaged.
The examination revealed no further damage on the cable.
As previously reported, investigations conducted on Wednesday, June 5, revealed a compromised section of the cable approximately 0.7 km offshore from its Kingston operations.
Officials from the China Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC) were a part of the GPL efforts to retrieve and examine the submarine cable, and are at present preparing a curative plan of action.
In the interim, the utility company is continuing to engage MARAD in indentifying an alternative route to lay a 13.8kV submarine cable along the Demerara River, in an effort to reconnect the Vreed-en-Hoop operations to the eastern sections of the Demerara-Berbice Interconnected System. Both entities are also engaged in discussions regarding establishing improved maritime conduct within proximity of the submarine cables.
Further updates will be provided as efforts progress, the GPL has promised.

Compromised section of the 69 kV submarine Cable