GEBE says efforts being made to supply stable power

POSTED: 07/6/16 7:45 PM

St. Maarten News – Public utilities company NV GEBE has assured the public every effort is being made to have all issues resolved and supply stable and consistent electricity. In a press release from NV GEBE stated that three engines that provide a total of 18 Megawatt of power are being repaired and or overhauled. Engine #17 overhaul should be completed by this weekend. Presently, engine #12 intake valve was damaged and is being repaired and engine #7 that was damaged by a fire is awaiting parts that has a delivery time of about ten weeks.

Over the weekend engine #14 developed a mechanical failure during operation, upon inspection a pushrod was damaged and this was repaired shortly after the engine had some time to cool down. The maintenance department did all that was in their power to have the engine back in operation the very same day.

In addition, last week one of the largest engines that provides 11 Megawatt of power experienced an electrical problem at three different occasion with different causes that resulted in load shedding across the island.

By this weekend NV GEBE engines that are down for repair and overhaul should be back online to reduce the chance of load shedding. “However with that said there is one 8 Megawatt engine that is pending overhaul in the next week or two which should last 3 – 4 week before being put back in operation,” the release from the company said.

GEBE added that overhauls of the larger units were scheduled for later down in the year, however due to the hurricane season the overhauls were put as a priority noting the peak of active hurricane season right around the corner. NV GEBE would prefer to have all engines that can run with air coolers 100% available during the hurricane season.

According to the press release all engines at the power plant are currently operating to meet the daily demand. However, should one engine develop any type of issue this may result in load shedding.

In addition, the power plant has enough capacity to service the entire island. However, due to maintenance work and overhaul presently being carried out on the engines, until these are completed, load shedding may continue, the company explained. Load shedding occurs mostly in residential areas to avoid disrupting the business community. Load shedding is when power is short of the demand and in order to operate the power plant stable there needs to be a disconnection of power in order to have the supply and the demand equal at all time with stable voltage and stable frequency. The NV GEBE Facebook page is used to inform the public and update on areas that are being affected by load shedding.

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