Patterson questions feasibility of power supply ship as electricity supply woes continue

Patterson questions feasibility of power supply ship as electricity supply woes continue

Opposition Member of Parliament, David Patterson is warning the Government against the use of a power supply ship as a temporary fix to the electricity crisis facing the country, on the basis that it is not a feasible option.

 The Government has since moved ahead with an agreement to have the ship come to Guyana to supply additional power to the national grid.

MP Patterson warned that the option is not feasible, and could result in the country spending millions of US dollars for a temporary fix.

“Because of their mistakes, they are going to go and spend ‘x’ amount of million dollars bringing in a power barge or some sort of temporary equipment to sort out a problem, a hole that they have dug. So, it is not feasible. It is one of those things, just think about it, how you are going to power this power barge, how you are going to refuel it, how you are going to hook it up or if not a barge, whatever engine,” MP Patterson warned. 

The move by Government to secure emergency power supply as power outages rock the nation, comes four months after the Government imported 17 generating sets valued at US$27M, with the hope of meeting the energy needs of the country. The sets have not eased the power woes.

But the Government is hopeful with the power supply ship, according to Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo.

“That will see a significant injection of power into the grid in addition to what we have. We intend to contract this for two years until the gas-to energy project is completed. So, we are hoping that within a matter of weeks we will be able to bring the situation back to normalcy and then extra capacity to address any failure of equipment that we have experienced recently,” Jagdeo told reporters on Thursday. 

However, MP Patterson believes that in an effort to address the plethora of challenges facing GPL, there should first be a change in management, and the provision of a subsidy to major companies to encourage them to self-generate.

“First thing I would do immediately, is acknowledge there is a problem. Say that you are short of 20 megawatts of producing power, power production, thus unfortunately for the next six weeks or so, we will have to do power rationing, publish a schedule and stick to the schedule. I think even though people will be very annoyed about being in blackout, they would be forewarned. Then I would also recommend that they provide a subsidy to commercial and large producers so they could come off the grid. What they are doing is penalizing these people, these large consumers for being on the grid, in other words, they are charging them more,” MP Patterson said. 

He reasoned that by providing the major consumers with a subsidy, to allow for self-generation, the power company could then focus on meeting the demands of the domestic consumers. 

Further, he said there is need for the company to establish a plan that would see it acquiring new dual fuel generator sets within a period of a year, to meet current and future demands for electricity. 

He said by using dual fuel generating sets, the company would be able to easily transition from heavy fuel oil to natural gas, whenever, the Gas-to-Energy Project comes on stream. 

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