[www.inewsguyana.com] – Prime Minister Samuel said that any Guyanese, who feels that the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) is burdening them, has the right to generate their own electricity, which is provided for in the law.
The Prime Minister was at the time speaking on ‘Political Scope’ on the National Communications Network yesterday, Friday December 12.
Responding to A Partnership for National Unity’s, General Secretary, Joseph Harmon that the power company should “find ways to reduce tariff, get off Guyanese backs”, the Prime Minister stated that, “That kind of talk is the basis for many of our Guyanese citizens feeling that they have a right to steal electricity. From the very high to the low Guyanese has been responding to those kinds of talks and it shouldn’t be.”
The cost for generation runs at 30 to 40 cents per kilowatt per hour, and this is diesel based.
Prime Minister Hinds pointed out that the government has over the years been working to shift from diesel to fuel oil which brings down the generation cost to about 20 cents.
“I don’t think you can get more than that. When we wrote the Electrification Sector Act, we particularly put in there that everyone has the right to self generate, and you find that when the people are put to the test they can’t do very much better than the rate that they are receiving,” he pointed out.
The Prime Minister said that the company has always been seeking ways in which it can reduce tariffs, and one of such intervention is the use of heavy fuel oil.
“Mr. Harmon should be the last person to be talking about our electricity prices… if we had gone to Amaila (hydropower project), we would be having generation cost which will be averaging in the order of 10 cents per kilowatt per hour rather than 22 cents per kilowatt per hour, and we would have been able to halve our generation cost. The other thing he should be doing is to call on the people to end the theft of electricity,” the Prime Minister stated.
Meanwhile, GPL’s Chairman, Winston Brassington said that the company continues to work with all of the parties, the Inter American Development Bank (IDB), China Railway and China Development Bank towards the realisation of the Amaila Falls Hydro Project which is the single most important contributor to reducing cost, and by extension tariff.
“We have been working, and I believe that very soon we will be able make some positive announcements with regards to getting this project on stream…in 2013 we were hoping to have financial closure by the end of the year, but Parliament did not vote unanimously on this project and Site Global pulled out. As we speak now, the project could get started, if everything goes well in the latter part of next year,” Brassington pointed out.
However, he said that will be almost two years lost and the opportunity savings from each year with Amaila would be about US$100M. [Extracted and modified from GINA]