The newly constructed 190MW Natural Gas Power Plant in Old Harbour Bay, St. Catherine, is in the final stages of testing, ahead of being fully integrated into the national electricity grid. The new power plant has been providing electricity to the grid since earlier this year but has not yet been fully commissioned, due to the complex testing process currently underway.
JPS is advising customers that during this final phase of testing, over the next two weeks there may be brief interruptions in service, as the plant is tested at varying levels of output. These tests are aimed at ensuring that the system responds appropriately whether the plant is fully or partially on the grid.
JPS’ Senior VP Generation, Joseph Williams, notes that this is a critical stage in the commissioning of the plant. “Successful testing has already been done on several components of the plant, as part of the process of integrating the new gas and steam turbines. We are literally on the final lap and are confident that the plant will soon be contributing consistently on a daily basis to Jamaica’s electricity needs. We ask our customers for your continued patience and understanding, and will endeavour to provide regular updates regarding service interruptions,” he said.
The construction of the new power plant has taken place over a period of approximately 30 months and has employed over 500 persons, including more than 200 from the immediate Old Harbour Bay community. The power plant will contribute significantly to the national energy diversification programme, and will be a boost to the environment, as it will utilize a cleaner gas, with lower emissions. It will also contribute to the efficiency and reliability of the present energy supply, as well as the stabilization of fuel costs for JPS customers.