Electricity companies get $1.3B to offset rise in fuel cost

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The sum of $1.3 billion was approved in the National Assembly on Monday, to cover additional costs incurred by power companies in Regions One, Seven, Eight, Nine and Ten.

Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar explained that the additional funds will cater for the unexpected rise in fuel cost.

He explained that of the $1.3 billion, $927.5 million will go to the Linden Electricity Company Inc; Lethem, Region Nine, $110.7 million; Mabaruma, Region One, $106 million and Kwakwani, Region Ten, $103.238 million.

The electricity company in Port Kaituma, Region One will receive an additional $76.809 million, while Mahdia, Region Eight will get $49.020 million and Matthew’s Ridge, Region One, $20 million.

The Minister told the House that there has been a 65 per cent increase in fuel cost, as such, the additional sums are needed.

“These power companies operate on subsidies and the original subsidies earlier this year did not foresee that type of market fluctuation,” Minister Indar explained.

Opposition Member of Parliament, David Patterson questioned if the sum catered for the maintenance of the utility companies. Minister Indar clarified that the additional funds only cater for the rise in fuel cost for November and December.

He reminded the House that there is an entire programme under the Hinterland Electrification Company Inc for the maintenance and surveillance of the utility companies.

Meanwhile, approval was granted for $85.8 million supplementary funding for the Guyana Power and Light Inc’s Power Utility Upgrade Programme (PUUP). The approved sum will facilitate the project’s closure.