GPL says current configuration preventing full service along Linden Highway

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Amid calls by scores of residents living off the national grid along the Linden/Soesdyke Highway for the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) to extend its services, the power utility company says it is limited by its current configuration.

GPL currently serves part of the 45-mile-long highway that runs between Soesdyke and Linden in Guyana.

But even with a major expansion of services in other parts of the coastline and with an annual budget to support these expansions, the company says it can go no further on the highway at this time.

The company currently serves areas up to Kuru Kururu with recent expansions heading to Long Creek.

“There is a call to go further south but we have reached our technical limit for distribution of electricity on the Linden Highway.

“We can’t do that currently with how the system is configured and with the distribution voltage being used there,” GPL’s Chief Executive Officer Bharat Dindyal said during a press conference on Wednesday.

During a recent tour of the Highway by the News Room, hundreds of people were found to be living in communities without state-provided electricity and sometimes dependent only on small generating sets, solar-powered lamps, or even lamps and lanterns for lights at nights.

“It means that if we extend the lines beyond where it is, we can’t guarantee a quality supply in keeping with regulatory obligations,” the CEO insisted.

Meanwhile, Dindyal said GPL has been able to serve new areas across Regions 3, 4, 5 and 6 in recent months, the most recent being Little Baiboo, Mahaica Creek, Mahaica.

He said new areas will be served after an agreement is reached with the government and based on the state of development; it would have to be regularised, have roads and other infrastructure.

The CEO eyes significant expansion of services in the next decade due to an increase in commercial activities and manufacturing. The current demand could triple in the next five years, he said.

The government has already talked about relief to be offered by the gas to shore project, the Amaila Falls Hydro Power Plant and other solar projects.

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