This morning, Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) returned the 9 megawatts (MW) GOL No.1 Wartsila Generator to service at Bushrod Thermal Power Plant.
Unit No.1 suffered a severe water leak near the No. 1 cylinder forcing it out of service for weeks.
An investigation by LEC technicians revealed that the failure was due to normal wear and tear and not any other cause.
Unfortunately, the repair required a total shutdown of Unit 1, resulting in a loss of 9 MW of dry season generation capacity and consequently increased load shedding.
Thanks to LEC’s prudent operating practice and MCA-L funding, the duration of the downtime was minimized as a complete spare cylinder head, cylinder liner, piston, and gasket set were already in stock, having been purchased previously.
LEC staff worked tirelessly over several weeks without any specialist assistance to carry out the necessary repairs.
Due to the size and weight of the engine components, which are designed to withstand enormous forces, LEC technicians were required to use specialist tools and equipment to undo the stretch bolts during disassembly and again to re-tension the stretch-bolts when the unit was being re-assembled.
During the repair, extreme care was necessary, which required precise measurements, clearances setting, and engine timing to very tight tolerances. Commissioning and testing procedures were closely followed to ensure no damage was caused.
Finally the hard work paid off when Unit 1 was turned over and run-up.
Unit 1 is now fully available to LEC. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the LEC team.
As with all machines, GOL generators require regular maintenance, both routine running maintenance, and cyclic major overhauls.
The Wartsila Units at Bushrod have completed 11,949 and 9,799 hours of running time respectively and will be due for major service at 12,000 hours and major overhaul at 20,000 hours.
LEC is currently preparing to procure the necessary spares, replacement parts, and specialist services in anticipation of receiving funding for the maintenance program which is estimated to cost approximately US $1 million during rainy season 2022 to 2023.