New substation for T&TEC La Brea plant
The rose glow of the rising sun bathes the equipment at the new CGCL 66kV Substation at La Brea.
T&TEC’s role in the socio-economic development of Trinidad and Tobago came to the fore again with the commissioning of the Caribbean Gas Chemical Limited (CGCL) 66kV Substation in February. The new substation was built to solely provide the CGCL methanol/dimethyl ether plant with its power requirements of 16.8MVA.
T&TEC was hired by CGCL to design and build the Union Estate, La Brea substation to the specifications required for its operations. The CGCL plant will be a natural gas to petrochemicals complex that is proposed to house a methanol plant, a di-methyl-ether plant and a desalination plant. In his 2016 budget statement, Minister of Finance, Colm Imbert, noted that the project “…will create a range of downstream derivative industries offering good quality, long-term secure jobs for our citizens in the south-west peninsula, as well as attractive opportunities for local businesses.”
The three-project ‘CGCL Cluster’ began in September 2016. Led by the Transmission Division, the project involved the construction of the new 66kV substation, the installation of two additional 66kV bays and the installation of two 66kV lines at the Commission’s Union Estate 220/66kV Substation. The latter two link T&TEC’s substation to the customer’s 66kV substation. As the two substations are in close proximity, system losses will be minimised and power cost reduced.
Months of diligent preparation, tight project management and the enlistment of an experienced contractor allowed the three projects to be undertaken simultaneously.
The construction of the Union Estate-CGCL No. 1 and No. 2 66kV circuits, the final project of the CGCL cluster, was carried out by an in-house team from the Transmission Development and Engineering Services (TD&ES) and the Transmission Maintenance Departments. This project involved the installation of poles and stringing of phase and aerial conductors. Ravi Shukla, Assistant General Manager, Transmission Division commended employees for their hard work and commitment. Despite some external, unrelated challenges at the location, the Transmission team completed the project on schedule and the CGCL was energised on February 27.
Construction of the Caribbean Gas Chemical Limited complex is expected to be completed in December 2018, with production scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2019. It will be the Commission’s largest new customer for this year.