CAY BAY—The GEBE power plant experienced mechanical malfunctions with two generators that resulted in load shedding, today, July 13, 2009.


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Diesel Engine #9 will remain offline pending the arrival of a replacement part while repairs were made on Diesel Engine #12 that was brought back online at 5 p.m. Two cables feeding the Pelican, Zagersgut, and Belair areas were still out up to press time, but power was expected to be restored shortly thereafter.

The power plant’s operational personnel ascertained that the fuel injection pump of cylinder #4 of Diesel Generator #12 had seized, resulting in extremely high exhaust gas temperatures. The maintenance department reacted immediately by taking the engine offline to exchange the seized fuel injection pump resulting in a loss of some 10 MW of capacity. The team made use of the down time to replace flexible fuel hoses and perform some other preventive maintenance on the engine.

Diesel Engine #9 that produces approximately 5 MW also experienced mechanical problems when the compressor wheels and aluminum wall insert of the turbo charger were damaged beyond repair and required replacement. Most of the required spare parts were in stock and the changing out of the damaged parts has already begun. Only the wall insert will have to be flown in. This may lead to some additional outages until the repairs have been completed.

The areas that were affected were Oyster Pond, Saunders, St. Peters/ South Reward area, Cole Bay, Lowlands/ Cupe Coy, Over the Bank, Belvedere, Madame Estate, Pelican Keys, AT Illidge Road, Zagersgut, Belair and Simpson Bay.

Due to the recent spate of engine problems, GEBE power plant technicians have been working around the clock conducting emergency repairs to minimize the effect of the engine malfunctions on the community. With the warm weather, the electricity demand has increased significantly. GEBE is already operating on a tight electricity production schedule since a fire seriously damaged a major diesel generator in 2008, leaving the GEBE power plant with just enough capacity to meet the current demand. Any mechanical problems may lead to short power interruptions.

GEBE Power Plant is already undergoing expansion with the two 11.2 MW generators. The new engines are expected to arrive on the island shortly and should be commissioned by December 2009 in time for the beginning of the high tourism season.

GEBE would like to apologize to its customers for the recent power outages and GEBE would like to assure the community that we are doing everything we can to maintain a steady supply of electricity and to avoid any outages. Once an outage does occur, our team is immediately mobilized to conduct the necessary repairs and minimize the effect of the outages due to malfunctions of the engines on the community.

Updates on the load shedding schedule as well as the ongoing repairs will be available on the GEBE website at as they become available.