Opposition braces for more power supply problems; Calls for technical losses to be addressed

Opposition braces for more power supply problems; Calls for technical losses to be addressed

The Opposition today said it fears Guyanese may have to brace themselves for more power outages, even with the use of a power ship with the capacity to generate 36 megawatts of power.

At a press conference, Opposition Member of Parliament, Shurwayne Holder, said while GPL’s inability to generate sufficient power to meet the current demand for electricity forms a major part of the problem, there is also the issue of technical losses that the company may be ignoring.

“The issue is not only at the generation level but there are issues at the distribution level. You can put whatever you want at the power plant, and deliver how much power but if you don’t get it right down stream where you are delivering that power to people, you still have problems. And, so they need to take a holistic approach,” Holder told reporters. 

Weighing in on the issue, PNCR Central Executive Committee (CEC) Member, Sherwin Benjamin said there is no quick fix to the issues facing GPL, and the Government must take accountability. He said technical losses within the system also contribute to power outages, and if not fixed, Guyanese will continue to suffer the consequences of poor management by the power company by the Irfaan Ali Administration. 

“There is the issue with the power lines. I mean, you are bringing new systems on board but you are not doing anything with the power lines. What are you doing with that to equip it with the capacity you are building. And, this again highlights the government’s ineptitude, it’s failure to do current research to ensure whatever it does reaches the internationally accepted best practices, and they are just not prudent,” he said.

GPL currently has an installed capacity of 166 Megawatts, while the current demand is over 180 megawatts. 

The power ship, which is scheduled to arrive in the country within three weeks, is expected to supply the country with some 36 megawatts of emergency power for a period of two years.

Under the agreement with the power ship company, GPL will be required to pay 6.62 US Cents per kilowatt per hour as a monthly charter fee for the power ship, and a monthly operation and maintenance fee of 0.98 US cents per Kwh, based on the electricity. 

Additionally, the power company is required to pay US$1M as the mobilization fee. 

MP Holder said the Opposition is currently analyzing Government’s decision to charter the power ship, and will interrogate the numbers to determine its feasibility. 

The decision to charter the power ship comes months after the power company secured 17 generator sets in December, 2023 at the cost of US$27M. However, to date, it is unclear whether all of the sets are operational, since a number of them would have encountered challenges since their arrival.  

The Management of the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) is expected to appear before the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Economic Services on May 8, however, ahead of that meeting, Holder as Chairman of the Economic Services Committee was invited to a meeting with GPL at the Office of the Prime Minister. 

He opted not to attend that meeting.

“I will not be attending that meeting. I believe that if they want to give an update, they can hold a press conference and update the nation. It is disrespectful to the Economic Services Committee, who has made a decision that they must come in front of the committee and we must field questions to them, serious questions. I will not be going at the Prime Minister’s office, where I am limited in terms of what I can ask,” he said.

He said GPL must answer to the Economic Services Committee, and be held accountable. 

You must be logged in to post a comment Login