Allocation for Linden Electricity Company increased; Patterson comes under fire for spate of blackouts
The increase in allocation for the Linden Electricity Company for 2017 has aroused concerns by the Parliamentary Opposition
This resulted in the Opposition MP, Juan Edghill grilling Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson, given the fact that for 2016 a sum of $2.7B was budgeted but only $1.8B spent. Edghill asked why there is an increase in 2017 and what is anticipated.
The Minister reasoned that lower fuel prices resulted in a lesser amount being expended in 2016; however he noted that Government is making a provision for any eventuality, pointing out that the 2017 amount is simply a forecast.
Responding to further questioning by the Opposition Minister Patterson said Linden is no different from any other part of the country hence the Ministry would be advocating the same measures to encourage conservation there.
In this regard, the Opposition MP questioned why the minister is encouraging conservation but still budgeting a higher sum. Minister Patterson maintained his prior argument, reminding that it is just estimation.
He informed the Committee of Supply that consumers in Linden are charged $12 per Kilowatt per hour in commercial areas, $5 for residential and other consumers $39.10. Patterson said the amount of $60 is paid per Kilowatt to Bosai by the Government.
The Public Infrastructure Minister said an assessment is ongoing to determine if Linden could be placed on par with other consumers. He said there will be no increases in electricity cost for Mabaruma and Moruca. The Minister also came in for criticisms for the spate of blackouts being experienced.
Meantime, he said over $46M has been allocated for the Hinterland Electrification Project and its mandate remains the provision of electricity to isolated areas, with some 25 solar panels distributed to 25 villages.