The Marshalls Energy Company began long-awaited testing of engine seven at the Majuro power plant late last week. The engine, one of two six-megawatt capacity generators, has been undergoing major rehabilitation for the past two years.
Engineers from Australian manufacturing companies arrived over the past few days to check the newly rebuilt engine. MEC officials said they aimed to complete all tests on the engine this week. “During this period, problems may occur which may cause island power to shut down as happened Sunday morning,” MEC said.
Majuro was hit with short power outages Sunday and Monday as a result of the ongoing tests. “Sunday, we ran the engine at 1.7 megawatts (MW),” said Kwajalein Senator/MEC board Chairman David Paul earlier this week. “On Monday, it ran at 2.7 MW, Tuesday we were up to four. By the end of the week, the engine will be at its maximum of 6.4 MW. Everything is on track.”
In addition to being overhauled, engine seven is now fully automated, which means engineers can monitor the engine from any location where they have an Internet connection to link to the new digital operating system. Paul said once number seven goes back on line, number six will be converted to the new automated system.
MEC — and Majuro — has been relying on the other large engine, number six, for the past two years to provide most of the capital’s power. But after running nearly continuously for two years, number six engine is in need of a major overhaul, according to MEC.
In a related development, new General Manager Jack Chong Gum is expected to take the reins at MEC this coming Monday.
Read more about this in the July 1, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.