The Port of Spain Power Station had been a power generation site for 120 years until its decommissioning in January 14th, 2016. It was on the current site of the Port of Spain Power Station in 1895, on the then Ariapita Estate, that an American businessman by the name of Edgar Tripp established the Electric Light and Power Company. Ownership of the plant would later transition to the government in 1937 when the plant was purchased by the State.
Construction of the Port of Spain plant, with its four iconic stacks, began in 1961 with the establishment of a 33,000 Volt Busbar System and the installation of two 50,000 kilowatt (50MW) steam turbines, which were commissioned in 1965, giving the plant an installed capacity of 100MW.
In 1969 and 1974, two 80 MW General Electric steam turbines were installed. Each boiler was rated for a steam flow of 737,000 lbs. per hour steam pressure of 1,250 lb/inch2 and super-heater outlet temperature of 950 °F. The total installed capacity then stood at 260MW.
The year 1984 saw the final addition of units at this Plant with the installation of two 24MW Rolls Royce gas turbines. These units were used mainly for peaking purposes and their “Black Start Capability” which is the ability to start up independently of the power grid.
Port of Spain Power station has not only served as a source of electrical power over its history. Since 2012, the plant’s Wrightson Road perimeter wall became a new showcase for the artistic talent of our nation’s youth, generating support for the continued development of the creative expression of future national artists and visionaries.
The power generated by this plant has facilitated our nation’s industrial growth and ensured the ability of key essential services to function during times of crisis. We recognise all of the employees went beyond the call of duty during the years of operation and worked with the steadfast commitment that electricity is an essential service and the knowledge that the citizens of this country depended on that electricity as part of their daily lives.
The many contributions and achievements of the Port of Spain Power Station and the many lives that have been touched by its operations will not be forgotten in our corporate and national history.