Finance Minister, Winston Jordan today signed a loan agreement with the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) for the sum of US$20M to benefit the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Company.
The agreement was signed in Jeddah.
The loan will support the power company’s Power Utility Upgrade Programme which is a component of GPL’s Development and Expansion Programme for 2014 to 2021.
During his remarks released by the Finance Ministry, Minister Jordan said the loan incorporates necessary reforms and upgrades to reduce losses, and improve the quality and reliability of electricity supply and will, at the same time “help to transform Guyana’s infrastructural landscape, boost our manufacturing sector and improve the quality of life of our citizens.”
He touted the oncoming oil revenues and the country’s relatively low public debt as good indicators for future partnerships.
Minister Jordan told those gathered that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has deemed the country’s medium-term economic prospects as “very favorable” and predicts that GDP will grow by 29.1 percent in 2020.
At the same time, the IMF has commended the Government on its “prudence and restraint towards borrowing in anticipation of future oil revenues,” he said.
The loan will facilitate the rehabilitation of 153 km of GPL’s medium voltage and low voltage network and 6, 941 smart meters, including the associated transformers, service lines and distribution boxes.
It will also provide for the rehabilitation and extension of two 69/13.8KV substations at Kingston and Vreed-en-hoop including equipment switchgear, power transformers, rerouting of circuits distribution feeders and cable connections.
The consultancy services for the preparation of designs and specifications for the sub-stations and the site supervision for the works will also be covered by the loan.
GPL is the Executing Agency for the project and will operate under the aegis of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure.
The Minister also expressed gratitude to the IsDb for the Reverse-Linkage Project, which will assist in updating Guyana’s expertise and technology in rice production as well as introduce innovative rice varieties in Guyana; and the Grant for the Modernisation and Upgrade of the Palms Geriatric Facility.
He noted that Guyana exported some US$200 million worth of rice in 2017.
“We are a little country, but our focus is strong, and our potential is enormous,” he told those gathered at the event.