Giftland ready to produce 3-5megawatts of power to GPL

─ GPL maintains commitment towards mitigating 22MW power shortfall 

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, September 5, 2019

Guyana Power and Light’s (GPL) Board of Directors has given the utility company clearance to enter into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with MCG Investments Incorporated also known as Giftland Mall.

According to a recent press release, GPL has been directed by its board to ensure the necessary legal and regulatory modalities were satisfied in conjunction with inviting potential power providers to submit Expressions of Interests (EoIs).

These providers should have, “immediately available generation capacity,” as stated by GPL.

In an exclusive interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), Chairman of Giftland Mall, Roy Beepat highlighted the company’s readiness in light of such an agreement to come on board.

“We bring, strategically, a location that is outside of the conventional feed areas… We have worked intensely with GPL over the past year under Minister Patterson’s guidance and also with the CEO of GPL Mr. Gordon, to bring this project to fruition.”

According to Beepat, Giftland has both the capacity and resources to address many of the issues facing GPL. “We have got two proposals in front of the GPL board that would pretty much eliminate all the blackouts in this country and we can do it within a very short space of time.” He predicts that this can be achieved within  6 months at a competitive cost.

He said Giftland may be able to supplement GPL’s grid with approximately 3-5MW of reliable power. While the company has 6.7MW of power, only 1.6MW is used during optimal operations.

He clarified an earlier statement that was made in an online publication that seemed to have cast doubt on the prospects of an agreement with GPL. The businessman noted that he did not read the full context of the statement issued by Chairman of the GPL’s Board of Directors, and as such his comments were in essence premature.

To this end, the businessman credited GPL for holding the fort on the handling of its operations. “Based on what they [GPL] have available, I think they are doing an incredible job.”

The purchase of electricity will seek to enhance both generating and reserve capacity of GPL. On September 4, GPL disclosed that it is at a generation deficit of some 22megawatts of electricity due to a combination of factors.

In Berbice, the Canefield Power Station’s 5.5MW generator is under scheduled maintenance, while a defective transformer at Onverwagt has resulted in GPL being unable to distribute 6.9MW of electricity.

Over in Demerara, GPL said a 6.9MW unit that is currently unavailable at the Kingston Power Plant is expected to be back in operation by September 9. The defective alternator which was sourced internationally has arrived in Guyana and its repairs are to be completed by the weekend. Meanwhile, GPL is awaiting replacement parts for defective components of the Garden of Eden Power Plant for 4MW of electricity to be restored at that location.

With the 23MW deficit, customers are expected to experience disruptions of service. The company has pledged to work towards the restoration of all its units and has vowed to keep customers abreast with public advisories on any power disruption.

At present, GPL falls short of the total reserves needed in the system. Last month, Minister of Public Infrastructure, Hon. David Patterson noted that the power company must be able to meet its peak demand and also have excess capacity in reserves. While the international convention demands 10-15% of reserves that function in cases of emergencies, GPL stands at 8%.

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