Mabaruma energy consumption to be regularised soon
DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, January 11, 2018
The Hinterland Electrification Company Incorporated (HECI) is working to install energy meters in the community of Mabaruma (Region One). This move will allow the residents to pay for electricity based on their consumption, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of HECI, Horace Williams explained in a recent interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI.)
According to Williams, residents have been paying a fixed fee for the supply of electricity. Following the installation of meters, this will no longer be the case. “We plan to gradually add the energy meters, starting with the commercial consumers so they can pay based on consumption rather than an estimation of a fixed rate.”
The initiative is expected to begin in February with consultations between the Regional Democratic Council (RDC), Mabaruma Town Council and the residents. The company has approximately 200 meters remaining from a recent project and other meters from GPL that will be used for this initiative.
Williams underlined that “GPL has been changing out meters, going more for prepaid or smart meters. So they have been changing out the regular electric mechanical meter and we have been benefitting from that.” The residents currently receive nine hours of electricity daily, from 6:00 pm to 12:00 am then from 5:00 am to 8:00 am.
There are major plans to upgrade electricity distribution in Mabaruma. One critical project is the construction of a $264M Solar Farm which is expected to be operational by the first quarter of this year.
Also, the anticipated Mabaruma Power and Light (MPL) company is set to be registered and handed over to HECI. Williams said that the company will be managed by the region and revenue collected from consumers will go to the Consolidated Fund.
‘So, we have put in for subvention from government to set up the company and once that becomes available we’ll start with staffing, with persons out of the region and accommodation for those persons.”
Williams is optimistic that 2018 will be productive, “We hope that with what we learnt from the challenges last year, we will be able to put systems in place to mitigate the challenges that may occur in 2018. So that we can deliver our 2018 work programme.”
A total of $65M was allocated to HECI in the 2018 National Budget. From that amount, $45M will go towards the Mabaruma Solar Farm Project while the remaining $20M will go towards upgrading the network river crossing at Port Kaituma from wooden structures to lattice steel towers.
By: Ranetta La Fleur
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