[www.inewsguyana.com] – The island communities of Leguan and Wakenaam, in the Essequibo River are now experiencing a 24- hour power supply as a result of upgrades done by the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Company.
The historic transition was formally acknowledged yesterday (Monday, December 22), when President Donald Ramotar declared operational, the rehabilitated power station serving the island.
The move to a 24-hour service was seen as necessary due to the minimal demand experienced after 08:00hrs being uneconomical. The power station now has three new 513 KVA units, auxiliary supplies and a heavy – lift forklift.
The new generating sets were installed over a three-day period from, December 9 to 11, with successful load testing and synchronisation being done to ensure that their usage is assured and machine rotation is possible without power outages.
Fuel storage capacity has been expanded to enable at least three weeks of operation. Additional staff have also been trained and employed to provide maintenance and other operations.
In his remarks, President Ramotar said that government has been trying to provide electricity to citizens and this has been costing a lot.
The President said that the move to the 24-hour power supply will be particularly beneficial to the women residing on the island, especially those who carry the “unequal pressure in the house in every way”.
He noted that children and youths will also be able to benefit from increased study time, as he cited the performance by other students who may have had “an unfair advantage.”
The linking of several areas, such as Parika and Skeldon which are already connected, was highlighted by the President. The plan is to eventually link Essequibo to the others, he added, and all of these areas will benefit, especially if problems such as shortages develop.
He expressed the hope that frequent power outages would be a thing of the past.
Meanwhile, it was recalled by GPL’s Chief Executive Officer, Bharrat Dindyal that the island’s first electricity supply service was commissioned by former President Janet Jagan.
He explained that initially the service was provided six hours daily, then 12 hours from Monday to Friday and through the weekend, with special consideration given to national holidays and special occasions. The communities east and west of the power station, he added, including Canefield in the East, and from La Bagatelle to Henrietta in the West were first serviced.
In 1998, the service was extended to the northern part of the island, and today over 1,000 customers benefit. Chairman of the GPL Board, Winston Brassington, also addressed stakeholders, noting that “we live in an age where power is expected to be on all the time and this was no different”.
The issue of power outages, Brassington said should be adequately addressed by the built-in redundancy of the system as he urged those responsible for the operations of the station to “follow the book” and not take short cuts.
[Extracted and modified from GINA]