GPL CEO engages independent Power Producers in Essequibo
DPI, Guyana, Monday, September 10, 2018
Independent Power Producers (IPP) in Essequibo, Region Two were informed that there will be a role for them in the Guyana Power and Light Incorporated’s (GPL Inc.) photovoltaic and conventional development plans for the region.
During a meeting over the weekend at the GPL office in Anna Regina, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Albert Gordon explained that the deficit in the Demerara Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS) is significant. Therefore, having the power company finance the plan may be challenging since it currently does a large amount of work on the grid. Hence, GPL will consider a public/private partnership for power generation.
“Right now, the operation of some of our units is outsourced to Power Producer and Distribution Incorporated (PPDI). So, they have been operating in a private sector mode and we’re trying to get all our generation operations up to that standard,” Gordon explained.
Additionally, having the private sector assist in the generation would help to solve the challenges in the transmission and distribution systems, where a significant amount of work has to be done.
However, according to the Gordon, the reverse argument of the plan, is that IPP-type projects are inclined to be a little more expensive because the private supplier may request a bigger return.
The CEO stated that “their cost of funds may be a little higher because they may source it at commercial rates, whereas GPL still has access to funding on more concessional terms which would transmit into low tariffs for the customers, if we execute efficiently, which is a challenge.”
In this regard, GPL will emphasise its focus on building its capacity to be able to deliver. Notwithstanding that, Gordon acknowledged that the private sector, when being driven by profit, can perform well and that is something GPL will take into consideration when executing the long-term plans for the region.
Ranetta La Fleur
Image: Leon Leung