Prime Minister outlines plans to transform energy sector

─power purchase from local sources
─construct 200MW gas-to-shore facility
─off-grid renewable energy stations

Prime Minister Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips has outlined some of the Government’s plans to diversify the energy sector to end the scourge of blackouts that have for years plagued the nation.

In a recent interview, the Prime Minister said the Government has sought to address the challenges facing the Guyana Power and Light Incorporated (GPL) from its first days in office, in a quest to end blackouts.

Purchase power from local sources

One of the first steps taken is to establish power purchasing agreements (PPAs) with local entities to fill in the gap for the present shortfall of electricity.

“We want to buy power that is available locally to supplement what is produced by GPL. That, in the shortest term, will help us to have reserve power to minimise blackouts,” the Prime Minister said.

One month after the PPP/C’s ascension to office more than 30 businesses submitted Expressions of Interest (EOI) to supply power to GPL after a request from the Government. The Giftland Mall is one of those companies that is set to soon supplement GPL’s grid.

Prime Minister Phillips said Government is exploring other means to further increase GPL’s reserve between now and year end.

Gas-to-shore facility

The establishment of a gas-to-shore facility is also on the cards. This major undertaking would be the first for Guyana and is expected to produce approximately 200 megawatts (MW) of power.

Already, the Government has tipped former Chief Executive Officer the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited, Mr. Winston Brassington to head the Gas-to-Shore Task Force.

Prime Minister Phillips anticipates the facility will be constructed by 2024.

“We believe if we can produce 200 megawatts of power from the gas-to-shore project, that along with what we have available through GPL will satisfy not only the domestic, but the commercial and industrial needs of Guyana,” the Prime Minister said.

Off-grid supply

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Phillips relayed that the construction of off-grid stations powered by renewable energy sources are high on the Administration’s agenda.

The facilities will be built mainly in hinterland communities that are not connected to GPL’s grid.

The Prime Minister has said that the use of solar, wind and hydroelectricity sources are critical to the energy mix the Government is working to establish.

Flagship hydropower projects such as those to be done at the Amaila Falls, Kato Village and at Kumu Falls are being pursued.

Aside from the construction of solar farms, US$10 million has already been allocated for the purchase of solar panels for Amerindian communities. President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali made this announcement in September.

The Government’s plans for the energy sector are in keeping with the PPP/C’s manifesto promise to deliver cheaper and more reliable electricity to the nation.

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