GPL trying its best to manage and limit power outages -Minister Indar assures business community

GPL trying its best to manage and limit power outages  -Minister Indar assures business community

With the Guyana Power and Light Company still facing a shortfall in power generation and the availability of power to meet peak demand, Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar, is assuring the business community that the power company and the government are doing their best to limit and manage the ongoing power supply issues.

Over the past few weeks, communities across the country have been plagued with power outages that GPL has blamed on its inability to meet peak demand at this time. In an effort to stabilize the system and have adequate power, the company even made a decision to disconnect large consumers from its grid during peak hours. That decision did not help much, and the business community has now joined the chorus of complaints about the power supply problems and their impact.

During a meeting with members of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce on Monday, Minister Indar explained that the Government has been making efforts to increase the amount of available power to the GPL grid. He said since 2022, tenders were put out for the supply of new power generating sets, but the bids received were not acceptable.

With the issue now worsening, the administration has moved to procure a number of generating sets from Honduras.

The sets are expected in Guyana within days, and should be put into place and commissioned by the 15th December. Once that is done, the Minister believes the power problems should ease.

“We are trying to manage this and we are trying to minimize as much as we can with the outage in the private sector, and in the day you are getting blackout too, and in the day blackouts come when one of those same old engines give a problem, and they are stacked next to each other, so you have to take it down and let it cool down to fix it, and when you take it down, you will get outages”, he said.

Minister Indar said when the gas-to-shore project comes on stream, it will greatly assist the situation, but that new project is not expected to be realised until early 2025. He said with GPL expecting the power demand to increase even more next year, additional investments will be made in the sector.

“When we bring this engine up that we have down, we will have about 174 or 175 and if you add the 28 megawatts that we are bringing in, you will end up with aout 203.5 megawatts in total reliable generating capacity. But you still have to get more to deal with next year’s demand”, the Minister told the business community.

He said under the former APNU+AFC Government, sufficient investments were not made in the power company and that was one of the contributing factors to the current problems. Still, he noted, a collection of other problems have played a role in the current situation facing the power company and its customers.

In a statement last week, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce expressed its ‘profound disappointment’ over the frequency of the power outages.

According to the Chamber, the continued spate of power disruptions is having an acute impact on the productivity of enterprises.

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