Electric Power Generation
In Trinidad and Tobago (T&T), electricity generation primarily uses natural gas as the fuel source. The power generation technology used are simple cycle gas turbines and combine cycled gas turbines with heat recovery steam generators.
The present electricity generation landscape in T&T comprises three Independent Power Producers (IPPs) providing bulk power with varying obligations and contracted capacities to Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC). Apart from the Cove Power Station (CPS) and Scarborough Power Station, T&TEC is solely responsible for the Transmission, Distribution, and sale of electricity to industrial, commercial and residential end users in T&T.
Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission
Ownership: Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (GORTT)
T&TEC came into being by virtue of the T&TEC Ordinance No. 42 of 1945. T&TEC held its first board meeting on 28th December, 1945 and T&TEC began its operations on 1st January 1946. It was responsible for the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity throughout T&T. Over the years, T&TEC has moved from an integrated power company (power generation, transmission and distribution) to an organisation where focus is on design, construction, operation and maintenance of the country’s electrical transmission and distribution network, with generation being done by IPPs. Power generated is transmitted and distributed in T&T through a single National Grid.
T&TEC owns 51% of the shares in the largest power-generating company in Trinidad and Tobago.
Scarborough Power Station
The Scarborough Power Station has an operational installed capacity of approximately 11 MW, with two (2) 5.5 MW Wartsila reciprocating machines and is used primarily for standby generation. These units were installed in 1998. The facility is a diesel fueled generating station that is located in the heart of the capital city of Tobago.
Cove Power Station (CPS)
The CPS was officially commissioned on October 3rd, 2009 and has an installed capacity of 64 MW. There are four (4) Wartsila diesel alternator units, each with a capacity of 16 MW with dual fuel capability. When running on natural gas, this station has a thermal efficiency of approximately 8,700 kJ/kWh.
Independent Power Producers
Power Generation Company of Trinidad and Tobago (POWERGEN)
Ownership: In 1994, T&TEC divested its generation assets to POWERGEN, a company whose ownership structure at the time was led by T&TEC with a 51 percent shareholding, followed by Southern Electric International with 39 percent and Amoco with 10 percent. T&TEC has retained its majority shareholding up to the present time, and there have been five occasions where the ownership structure changed hands, as follows:
- In 1998, BP Amoco replaced Amoco;
- In 2000, BP replaced BP Amoco;
- In 2001, the Mirant Corporation of the USA replaced Southern Electric International;
- In 2007, Marubeni Corporation replaced the Mirant Corporation and
- In 2013, National Enterprises Ltd Power Holdings Ltd replaced BP.
POWERGEN currently operates only two major power generation plants at Point Lisas and Penal.
POWERGEN Power Plant at Penal
Penal Power Station features the only combined cycle (CC) plant in PowerGen’s system. The station has a gross installed plant capacity of 236 MW. The CC comprises one (1) 66 MW GE steam turbine operating in a two on one configuration with two (2) 65 MW GE gas turbines, and two (2) Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSGs). Additionally there are two (2) 20 MW GE gas turbines for black-start and peaking capability. Supply of electricity is contracted from this facility under the 1994 Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
POWERGEN Power Plant at Point Lisas
The Point Lisas Power Station is located within the Point Lisas Industrial Estate (PLIE) and is the largest generating plant on the island, having been expanded over the years to an installed capacity of 818 MW. It comprises four (4) Westinghouse units each rated at 85 MW, four (4) ABB units each rated at 62.5 MW and one (1) GE unit rated at 20 MW with black-start capability as part of the 1994 PPA and two (2) Siemens Westinghouse units of 104 MW of capacity each, under contract in the 2005 PPA.
Trinity Power Limited
Ownership: Carib Power Management LLC
Trinity Power was formerly known as InnCOGEN before the change of ownership in 2004. This Power Station is located in Couva and uses three (3) 75 MW GE gas turbines in simple cycle configuration. The Trinity Power Station has a 30 year PPA which was signed in 1998.
Union Estate Power Station
This is currently the newest and most efficient power generating plant in T&T with an installed capacity of 720 MW. This facility was established to provide electrical power to the then proposed Alutrint Aluminum Smelter Plant and bulk power to T&TEC. Work on this facility started in January 2009. The facility is the country’s second CC Power facility, the first one being in Penal. On December 18th, 2012, TGU assumed care, custody and control of the entire facility from German contractor Man Ferrostaal and thereafter declared Commercial Operations to T&TEC up to the contracted capacity of 720 MW. On July 10th 2013, Government acquired the remaining shares held by the AES Corporation at the cost of $US 31 million and therefore became the sole owner of the facility.
The facility is a ‘Six on Two’ (6 on 2) configuration with six (6) GE gas turbine generating units each producing 75 MW, with HRSGs and two (2) GE Steam Turbine each capable of 135 MW. This means having an additional 270 MW of power available without the use of any additional natural gas. TGU is contracted to supply 720 MW of electric power to the national grid under the 2009 PPA.