Infrastructure Minister assures that reliable and stable electricity will be delivered
DPI, GUYANA, Tuesday, May 22, 2018
The Minister of Infrastructure David Patterson assured that the government is continuing to work to correct deficiencies at Guyana Power and Light company.
The Minister, during a recent interview with DPI, explained that the power company is prioritising the upgrade of the transmission and distribution system, and replacing aged transmission lines.
“When we do get the generating set, we’ll be building a new infrastructure for the high voltage section which takes the power from the generator to the substation. Therefore, when this is finished that line will be more reliable and stable. The total shutdowns will have greatly reduced”, he explained
Earlier in this month, GPL was penalised by the Public Utilities Commission for failing to improve its service and meet targets. The utility company paid a fine equivalent to five percent of the total value of the dividends that would have been due to the shareholders (Government of Guyana) for the year 2017.
Minister Patterson said he supports the decision and will continue working with the company to improve its services. He emphasised that GPL must strive to meet its targets.
“The number of outages per year is supposed to be only 75, GPL’s was 125; they didn’t hit that target. They’re also supposed to do physical Meter reading readings for 97 percent of consumers but only did 92 percent. I fully supported PUC’s position. It’s time we hold GPL accountable to these standards, especially since the standards are set jointly by GPL and PUC”, Minister Patterson underlined.
Other areas where GPL failed during last year include the ability to achieve an average availability of 80 percent. The company reported that average availability was 78.2 percent.
According to the Minister, the planned natural gas project will help to resolve the generation issue and provide enough capacity at a reduced cost to customers. The move to utilize natural gas is a transition to Guyana’s ‘Green Economy’ which is a high priority for the government.
As the government, continues to review forms of reliable energy supply, GPL’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Albert Gordon had earlier stated that a US$110M grant may be the answer to the country’s blackout woes.
The government is considering this request to ensure that citizens have a continuous renewable supply of energy for domestic and for industrial use.
By: Ranetta La Fleur.