PM Phillips points to increase in vehicles slamming into utility poles as main reason behind increase in blackouts

PM Phillips points to increase in vehicles slamming into utility poles as main reason behind increase in blackouts

Prime Minister, Mark Phillips has responded to statements made by Opposition Member of Parliament, David Patterson about the state of the Guyana Power and Light company.

At a press conference last week, MP Patterson disclosed that he is of the view that the frequent power outages being experienced, is due to maintenances and other challenges facing the power company.

But in a statement today, Prime Minister Mark Phillips cited an increase in vehicle accidents involving utility poles as one of the main reasons behind the increase in power outages.

“When vehicles collide with these structures, the power flow is disturbed above the prescribed limit thus activating the protection systems on the grid to prevent further damage to the network and generating assets. In some instances, this can result in widespread outages,” the Prime Minister said in a statement.

The Prime Minister said there has been an increased number of vehicular collisions with primary GPL structures and the government will shortly commence the installation of bollards around to identify those critical structures.

“Unbelievably, Mr. Patterson, the former Minister of Infrastructure with ministerial oversight of GPL, asserts that power outages resulting from accidents are a key indicator that GPL’s network is failing. Mr. Patterson should be aware that GPL’s primary distribution network corridor is largely positioned on the earthen shoulder of main roads and transfers large amounts of power at 13,800 volts into the low voltage/secondary network to serve customers,” the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister said,  GPL procures significant quantities of network components (transformers, conductors, fuses, switches, insulators etc.) to ensure that planned and emergency maintenance are efficiently execute at a significant cost, brushing aside claims that the company is procuring, cheeap, substandard equipment.

The Prime Minister said the company is still recovering from the period of gross misdirection and the absence of a clear policy direction under the former APNU/AFC administration.

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