New substation for Kingston, upgrades to Vreed-en-Hoop

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Guyana Power and Light Incorporated (GPL) is working to construct a new substation at Sophia and upgrade the one at Vreed-en-Hoop as part of efforts to reduce power loss and outages. The new substation and upgrades will be funded through a more than $4.1Billion (US$20Million) loan agreement signed with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) last month, to support GPL’s Power Utility Upgrade Programme (PUUP).

Minister of Public infrastructure, David Patterson

Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that this venture, together with new wiring and infrastructure under the PUUP, is aimed at addressing the frequencies of blackouts.

 “This loan will not only be looking at the transmission and distribution but it will be looking at constructing a new substation at Kingston and upgrading one in Vreed-en-Hoop. You know because of how the system is configured any simple flaw trips the entire system. So, with the new substation, we will have different feeds coming in therefore, one line going down will not bring the entire system down. We will be putting a breaker in front of the generators in both areas,” Minister Patterson explained.

The PUUP is a component of GPL’s development and expansion plans for 2014 to 2021. The plan incorporates necessary reforms and upgrades to reduce losses and improve the quality and reliability of electricity supply while, helping to transform Guyana’s infrastructural landscape, boost the manufacturing sector and improve the quality of life for citizens.

Under the PUUP there will be approximately 900 kilometres of wiring countrywide and the installation of 25,000 smart meters. The upgrade will improve efficiency, lower losses and lower costs to the consumers. Minister Patterson reaffirmed that the frequent power outages experienced during the year will soon be a thing of the past.

“We lose about 30 percent of the electricity we generate to either technical losses; losses due to poor infrastructure and wiring and commercial losses which are theft. It is anticipated that when the PUUP is finished that the technical losses will reduce to five percent. Therefore, naturally, we’ll have more power available to the grid because we’re recouping 5 percent of our generating power.”

The PUUP project will also include rehabilitation of 153km of medium and low voltage distribution network, the upgrade of the associated metering infrastructure,

and consultancy services for the supervision of the works and project management support among others.

Ranetta La Fleur

Image:  Keno George

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