BUDGET 2021: GPL gets $2B bailout; large sums for hydropower projects
The government has announced a $2 billion bailout for the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Inc. and has allocated large sums of monies to support energy infrastructure projects.
Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh, during the presentation of the 2021 National Budget, said the monies allocated to GPL is to encourage policy initiatives to surpass demand. He said it is also in line with GPL’s infrastructure investment to promote loss reduction and improve the performance of the distribution of power.
Dr Singh said the bailout was necessary because of the difficult financial situation that the last government left GPL in. Dr Singh said the government has recognised that the single biggest impediment to development is the absence of affordable and reliable energy.
In this vein, he announced plans to advance the construction of the Amaila Falls Hydropower project – a project the PPP/C government has long had on the cards.
Beyond this, he spoke of a comprehensive energy mix that will harness power through vast hydropower, solar and wind farms, and biomass. In keeping with this, $700 million was budgeted for the installation of 190 on-grid and off-grid systems in 2021.
Solar farms will be installed at Mahdia and Leguan while Kumu and Moca-Moca will see two small hydropower plants being constructed. The Kato hydropower project is also expected to be completed in 2021. To this end, some $850 million has been allocated to cover these initiatives.