Cabras 3 repairs completed - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Cabras 3 repairs completed

by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - The Guam Power Authority is celebrating the completion of repairs to Cabras 3.  

It was a major multimillion dollar project that began ten months ago. "Cabras 3 is a very large, slow speed diesel engine," explained GPA general manager Joaquin Flores. But with GPA's Cabras 3 generator down this meant the 39 megawatts of power that came along with it was no longer being supplied to the community leaving a burden on GPA's other generators to make up for the lost load and a significant impact to ratepayers. Flores said, "In the magnitude of nearly $900,000 a month in fuel expenses."

Since November 2012 the Guam Power Authority along with its contractors and experts from different parts of the world have been working to repair Cabras 3. The overhaul involved the meticulous replacement of a metal shaft and discs requiring intense precision. "This assembly was critical because it required very special tools from Korea and Spain. So we had to wait for the tools before we even took the generator apart," he said.

"And just as difficult as it was to take it apart, it was even more difficult to put it all back together. Here's the lower disc we had to support the 53 ton shaft and then we secured it to the disk and then we carried it over and laid it into the floor the bay and all of these are you can see these are the bearing cradles that hold the shaft up. Carry the shaft on both ends and we low it into very tight tolerances until we get it secure," he said.

It was over the weekend that GPA began testing on Cabras 3. The agency is expecting the unit to be fully up and running by October 2nd.  According to Flores with Cabras 3 back online we should see a more reliable system - one that he believes has mitigated the issues GPA experienced during the back to back blackouts over the summer. He said, "Those previous blackouts that we had in June and July because Cabras 3 was not up we were not in a normal state but I think we've done our due diligence we've cleaned up we've addressed all the maintenance requirements for that we've implemented new procedures we've enhanced the system with new changes to our protection system and backups and we're now in a much better position with Cabras number 3 as a result of lessons learned from those two blackouts."

Ratepayers meanwhile could also see a reduction in their power bill or the LEAC as a result of the generator coming back online. The repairs to Cabras 3 cost $4.5 million, however Flores adds GPA has also filed a claim with its insurance underwriters for the damages and the added fuel expenses that were incurred as  result of the generator being down.  Flores says the manufacturer along with experts in the industry could not determine why the rotor shaft broke in the first place saying it was an anomaly.

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