Budget 2021 boosts efforts to provide reliable power supply

Through Budget 2021, Government will be investing heavily to upgrade power generation systems throughout the country. Providing more reliable electricity is one of the manifesto promises outlined by the PPP/C Administration.

Under the Hinterland Electrification Programme, $141 million has been allocated to improve power generation, distribution and operational efficiency.

Prime Minister, Hon Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips.

Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips during the consideration of the estimates on Tuesday, said $15 million will go towards upgrading the distribution network at St. Cuthbert’s Mission.

Under the same programme, the Prime Minister noted that $80 million will go towards the construction of a distribution network for the Kato Hydro Power Project. Generator sets will also be procured for Mahdia, Karasabai and Port Kaituma costing $13 million, $8 million and $15 million respectively.

Kato will also benefit from the construction of a hydropower scheme under the Sustainable Energy Programme. Prime Minister Phillips said the project is slated to be completed by year end.

“The contract was awarded in September 2019 after being tendered twice. The project should have been completed in March 2021 but as it is, it is only 25 percent completed now and the new completion date is December 31, 2021.”

The sum of $240 million was allocated for the Sustainable Energy Programme. That allocation will also cover the procurement and installation of photovoltaic systems in hinterland and coastal locations. The areas to benefit include, Yarakita, Hotoquai, Akawini, Bethany, Kabakuburi, Monkey Mountain and Achiwib.

The Prime Minister also disclosed that mini-grid systems are slated to be installed at Bartica, Mahdia and Lethem under the Energy Matrix Diversification Programme.

“Bartica and Lethem have been awarded, whereas Mahdia, we are completing the environmental impact assessment and after that it will go through the process for it to be awarded,” Prime Minister Phillips told the Committee of Supply.

Some $1.8 billion was also allocated for the Public Utility Upgrade Programme. Under the programme, the Prime Minister said $186 million will go towards the rehabilitation of retention at Lot A and $1.2 billion for Lot B. The project the Prime Minister said is 75 percent completed.

The sum allocated also caters for provision of loss reduction, rehabilitation of distribution networks, rehabilitation of sub-stations at Kingston and Vreed-en-Hoop, upgrade/relocation of distribution transformers, implementation of systems management software and institutional strengthening.

Some 12.8 billion was earmarked for the Office of the Prime Minister in Budget 2021. Of that amount $7.1 billion is for current expenditure and $5.6 billion for capital expenditure.

Since taking office on August 2, 2020, the Government has been taking every step necessary to provide cheaper and more reliable energy to all Guyanese. The gas to shore project is one of the major projects initiated to realise the manifesto promise. The project is expected to be completed by 2023.

The $383.1 billion National Budget is themed, “A Path to Recovery, Economic Dynamism and Resilience.”

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