Fourteen months after the island’s sole electricity company fell back into the hands of the government, Grenadians are being advised to prepare for an unspecified period of load-shedding as a number of power generating sets at its Queen’s Park location have run into problems.
The load-shedding started this morning around 10:00 and lasted in some places up until 2:00 p.m. as the new and biggest generating set installed within the past year tripped and could not be restarted.
A source within the company told THE NEW TODAY that the expected load-shedding will not be island wide but will be restricted to only some parts of the country “until things get back normal.”
He said company officials are trying to get the big set back up and running but can only engage in limited work as it is still under warranty from the manufacturer.
“It is still under warranty so there are certain things that they cannot do. They are working to see what they could do but based on what happens they won’t be able to go into it because it is under warranty,” he added.
According to the insider at Grenlec, someone from the manufacturer might have to be flown into the country to attend to the generator.
In addition, he said that one of the last sets to be brought into the country is undergoing an overhaul at the moment and out of commission.
He disclosed that there are two other small sets at the Queen’s Park power plant– one is undergoing an overhaul at the moment and the company is not able to get the other generating set to start.
The source could not give a timetable as to how long the load-shedding will last.
He said: “I am not sure – once they could get one of the other sets (up and running) if not things will be really tight. We are praying and hoping that they could get back the large set (working)’.
The source also gave an insight into those parts of the country that were affected by the initial period of load-shedding.
“When the thing (largest generating set tripped) happened, we lost from the Power station, going up Cherry Hill, going right up Sauteurs onto Snell Hall. We also lost from the Power plant going up Mt Rush, La Borie, St Paul’s, Perdmontemps, and going right up to Grenville Town.
“We lost the whole of Lance Aux Epines. We lost power in Belmont and Belmont stayed off for the longest – about 4 hours.”
THE NEW TODAY understands that the Grenlec management is in the process of preparing a statement “to let people know what’s taking place.”
One concerned businessman in Grenada called THE NEW TODAY to express concern about the situation.
He said: “We back to the old days now. Do you realise that most places in St George’s have been out of power for more than 3.5 hours today?”
Grenlec is now fully back in the hands of the ruling New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell after it was forced to pay US$63 million dollars in December 2020 to buy back the controlling interest from U.S Company, WRB Enterprises.
The huge financial pay-out brought an end to years of wrangling with Prime Minister Mitchell and his long-standing deputy, Gregory Bowen who had opposed the privatisation of Grenlec during the rule of the 1990-95 Congress government of late Prime Minister Sir Nicholas Brathwaite.
The long protracted stand-off between WRB and the Mitchell-led administration went before an international arbitration tribunal which ruled in favour of the U.S Company and forced the regime in St. George’s to find close to EC$180 million to repurchase the shares.