Dr Singh: Blackouts unacceptable but gov’t focused on delivering solutions


Acknowledging that frequent blackouts experienced countrywide are “unacceptable”, Finance and Public Service Minister Dr Ashni Singh on Saturday said that the government is focused on delivering solutions.

This, he said will result in the addition of 35 megawatts of power to the national grid in the coming weeks from a power ship that will arrive soon.

“The reality is there are more customers and they are demanding more.

“This government really has no interest in playing the blame game.

“Our focus is on delivering solutions,” Dr Singh said during a live broadcast.

According to Dr Singh, at the end of 2023, the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) had 227,067 customers; this represented 49,000 new customers more than 2014.

It is therefore evident that the demand for electricity has significantly grown with new housing schemes being developed. This is compounded by an increase in commercial and industrial activities.

In providing a breakdown, Dr Singh said when the PPP/C demitted office, it installed up to 76.9MW of power to the grid.

“Because we anticipated, we knew there were new investments coming to Guyana. There were new housing schemes being developed. So we knew that GPL generating engines, many of them were old, that we needed to retire some and also build up capacity to address issue of redundancy, etc,” Dr Singh said.

While, when the APNU took up office in 2015, they only installed 14.2MW, he said.

So in 2020, when they were re-elected into office, Dr Singh said there was a gap and GPL continued to face challenges since there was more demand for electricity than the company could produce.

“They did not invest in new generating capability. They did not invest and maintain our engines adequately and so when we returned in office, what we found was a completely dilapidating and even further dilapidating infrastructure at GPL with a system that was completely incapable of generating electricity to meet the needs of the country,” Dr Singh said.

To address this, Dr Singh said 9.6MW of emergency power was installed within the PPP/C’s first four months in office at Canefield, Onverwagt and Sophia.

With the expected 35 megawatts of power, Dr Singh said the PPP/C government would have installed 127 MW of power from 2020 to date.

This includes the 28.9MW capacity that was procured and is being installed at the Colombia, Mahaicony sub-station.

As of Saturday, Dr Singh said 19.2MW has been successfully installed.

“We are now procuring 33MW of solar power to be plugged into Berbice, Essequibo…That’s money we have earned from the LCDS,” Dr Singh said.

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