‘No sugarcoating bad GPL situation’ – Jagdeo assures Gov’t fixing electricity woes


“The situation is bad,” Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo said Thursday as he highlighted the ongoing work within the government to respond in the short and long term to electricity woes resulting in frequent power outages.

“There is no sugarcoating this. We have a situation at GPL that we have explained 100 times before but often, explanations don’t suit people when the light goes off because it disrupts their lifestyle (and) it disrupts their normal activities,” Jagdeo said during a press conference held at the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) ‘Freedom House’ headquarters in Georgetown.

The Vice President sought to address the situation at GPL that has also been engaging the attention of President Irfaan Ali this week.

For Jagdeo, people’s frustrations are understandable but assured all Guyanese the government is committed to the herculean task of fixing the problems the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) grapples with.

In the short term, he said the government is seeking to purchase about 40 to 80 megawatts (MW) of power that will help to meet growing demand until the massive 300 MW Gas-to-Energy project comes onstream at Wales, West Bank Demerara (WBD).

The VP said the government is also fixing the existing transmission and distribution network and reassured that the government is still pursuing the Amaila Falls hydropower project that was shelved by the former APNU+AFC administration years ago.

Solar power projects are also seeing investment so Guyana has a diverse power supply mix, Jagdeo siad.

Once these solutions come about, the existing power generation sets will go into Guyana’s reserves for use only when necessary.

GPL is Guyana’s main power supply company. It manages the country’s main power grid, the Demerara- Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS). The State-owned electricity company generates power from diesel engines, most of them old and need replacing.

Jagdeo said the government has long recognised that increasing power demand requires additional power supply. He, however, castigated the major opposition parties, the APNU and AFC, for blocking the Amaila Falls hydropower project that could have brought much relief to Guyanese by now.

He was also keen on correcting public statements made that this hydropower project would not have generated electricity at a lower cost.

Based on government’s calculations, he said hydropower could have been generated at about 10 US cents per kilowatt hours, a sum is is at least one-third the price currently paid for electricity.

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