T&TEC chairman, Omar Khan

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Unlimited power

By By Camille Bethel

The Trinidad Generation Unlimited (TGU) power plant at the Union Industrial Estate, La Brea is now operational, and will soon be the country's largest supplier of electricity.

This is the word from chairman of the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) Omar Khan.

The TGU plant which was started under the former PNM administration was built to produce 720 MW of power.

Of this 720MW capacity, 450 MW would have been used to supply power to the proposed Alutrint aluminium smelter plant which was scrapped when the Peoples partnership took power last year. Only 270 MW-the excess of the power supply-would have gone to the T&TEC grid.

Khan described the start-up of the plant, which has the newest technology as "tremendous".

He said: "On August 1 the Trinidad Generation Unlimited plant, our largest project to date in the southland, started commercial operations, which meant that they started supplying T&TEC with power that they started generating.

This is a tremendous upgrade and tremendous enhancement to the electricity industry in Trinidad and Tobago. T&TEC will now have much more generation availability in terms of the power produced so we will have availability of power to supply all of our customers."

The TGU contract, the third of its kind with independent power producers, has three phases.

T&TEC has contracts with Powergen and Trinity Power,  and will eventually allow TGU to become the largest supplier of power.

Khan said: "The first phase is at 225 MW of power, the second phase will come on stream at the end of November and the third phase at the end of January 2012."

He said in order to get the power out of La Brea and throughout the national grid, a new substation had to be built at the Union Estate, called the Union Estate 220 kV transmission system.

History, he said, was made with the construction of this substation.

"T&TEC created history when for the first time a 220kV bus bar was constructed at the Union Estate 220/66 kV substation. This substation was energised in October 2010 making it the first substation to be energized at 220 kV in Trinidad and Tobago," he said.

He said 60 people are employed at the TGU power plant.

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