New GPL Chair cites emotional impact of blackouts

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Newly appointed Chairman of the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Inc. Rawle Lucas has challenged his fellow board members to work towards ending blackouts during their tenure.

“Blackout for me is as old as 42 years and I think it is about time it stops growing…blackouts have to end,” shortly before receiving his instrument of appointment from Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson at his Wight’s Lane, Kingston, Georgetown office on Thursday.

He spoke of the emotional impact this scourge can have on citizens noting that this is a major reason to end frequent power outages.

“It is not a good thing emotionally to watch a child trying to celebrate his/her 16th birthday and at the most important moment… you lose power, you lose light.

“It is not good to see somebody who has just invested a sum of money, hard earned money, to start a micro business and then to discover the biggest challenge is blackout,” he told the members in the presence of Minister Patterson and GPL’s Chief Executive Officer, Albert Gordon.

Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson (center) with new members of the GPL Board

The Chair said Guyana cannot continue operating on a system which allows this to continue.

He noted that a review of the company’s financial information from 2008 to 2017 found that GPL moved from bad to worse.

“Our efficiency if we were to calculate it in dollar terms, declined by about 20B dollars,” he said.

Lucas’ comments come at a time when residents on the Demerara-Berbice Interconnected System have been enduring hours of blackouts due to a damaged submarine cable across the Demerara River.

Several persons have taken to Facebook to protest the frequent power outages.

“The power outages now can be testing to our consumers because it is quite extensive,” Minister Patterson said in his remarks.

The other members of the board are Reggie Bagwandinm Kirk Hollingsworth, Morsha Johnson-Francis, Elena Trim, Gillian Pollard representing the Public Service Union, Mahendra Sharma from the Guyana Energy Agency and Komal Ramnauth from the Private sector.

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