GWI commissions $160M drilling rig

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, May 7, 2020

The Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) today commissioned a drilling rig, which was acquired from Brazil to improve the nation’s water access.

Director of Operations, Dwayne Shako explained that the $160Million rig can drill to 1000 metres (3,000 feet) which would allow them to drill wells along the coast especially in Region Six where the wells are 1,400 feet.

Shako said the rig was built from scratch in Brazil and fittings and spares are readily available in the country.

It will be dispatched to the coast where another rig is located. This new equipment takes approximately six weeks to drill a well. This will enable GWI to very quickly drill wells in Regions 3, 6 and Central Georgetown.

According to Shako, GWI plans to drill eight wells from now to May 2021. The first will be drilled in Central Georgetown and will be located on Mandela Avenue.

“This will allow us to bring the Central Water Treatment Plant up to 24 hours. So, areas like Roxanne Burnham Gardens, Guyhoc Park, East and West Ruimveldt that are currently receiving 12 hours of water will then have a 24-hour supply,” Shako explained.

Following this, the company will proceed to drill wells in Berbice, Region 6; the Farm-Prospect area on the East Bank of Demerara in Region 4; Tuschen in Region 3. Wells will also be drilled in Region 2 and Amelia’s Ward in Region 10.

Managing Director, Dr. Richard Van West-Charles stated that when the company’s strategic plan was launched, it focused on GWI’s capacity to improve water production of groundwater production.

He noted that 48 wells have been drilled on the coast and hinterland regions since 2015.

While highlighting the critical importance of water amid this pandemic, Dr. Van West-Charles shared that there has been a 20 percent increase in water consumption as a result of COVID-19 pandemic since January.

According to the Managing Director, once the novel coronavirus has been curtailed, the utility company is expecting equipment from Holland, which will provide greater capacity in maintaining the 139 wells in Guyana.

He also noted the government’s role in improving water access countrywide. “One of the initiatives this government has demonstrated is its commitment to provide service for its people and to ensure that they are provided with the basic needs they require for sustainable livelihoods.”

Dr. Van West-Charles assured that with better water production and strengthened capabilities GWI will be in a much better position by the end of the year, to ensure the gaps in equities have been met.