Gov’t to set up 188 megawatt natural gas power plant

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The Government has plans to utilise its natural gas from offshore oil finds to generate 188 megawatts of power, according to Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson.

The Minister was quoted by the Department of Public Information (DPI) saying “So, we have gas. What we are doing is building out the architecture. It comes in by pipeline and we will have a 188megawatt power plant.”

Minister Patterson made this comment on Saturday’s Voice of Guyana radio programme.

“We will have more than enough power in the country,” Minister Patterson noted.

The Private sector has repeatedly complained about lack of sufficient energy and the effects on the business sector, especially manufacturing.

Destined to come on stream by 2021, Minister Patterson said that the natural gas, “is the cheapest and cleanest of the non-renewable sources [of energy].”

The initiative will come under the Government’s Green State Development Strategy (GSDS) Vision 2040, which seeks to ensure oil extraction in association with natural gas production is done most beneficially.

The Minister said the new power plant will result in astronomical savings for the country since power generation costs will decrease.

“The money that you save that would have previously used to buy diesel and fossil fuel to run GPL, you can put that back into the economy,” he noted.

Minister Patterson, who also has oversight for the power company, explained that the new power plant, is a medium-term solution to achieving redundancy in the power company’s network but it is not the only measure being pursued.

GPL has been granted permission by the Minister to purchase an additional 33 megawatts that will allow the utility company to have a total capacity of 160 megawatts.

“That gives you about 40 megawatts of reserves based on our current load. So, that will carry you until 2021 when you have the gas in line and the new generating sets [with the new power plant],” Minister Patterson explained.

At present, GPL falls short of the total reserves needed in the system. Minister Patterson further explained that the power company must not only be able to meet its peak demand but have excess capacity in reserves. While the international convention demands 10-15% of reserves that function in cases of emergencies, GPL stands at 8%.

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