Govt to buy ‘emergency power’ for GPL to address blackouts

Guyana's Vice President and the General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

To help alleviate the power woes within the country until the flagship gas to energy project comes on stream within the next two years, the Guyana Government is looking to purchase emergency power to support the State-run electricity company, Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL).

Making this announcement today was Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo during his weekly press conference, where he noted that a group of ministers was established to look into the current wave of power instability across the country.

This ministerial group includes the VP, Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall, Minister of Finance Dr Ashni Singh, and Minister within the Ministry of Public Works Deodat Indar.

According to Dr Jagdeo, the group is currently working on a plan to purchase emergency power.

“Today, we are meeting with the company to supply emergency power. Hopefully, before the end of this week we can conclude this contract and have this vessel arrive in the country…maybe two to three weeks later. That will see a significant injection of power into the grid in addition to what we have,” Dr Jagdeo revealed.

“We intend to contract this for two years until the gas to energy project is completed. So, we’re hoping that within a matter of weeks, we’re hoping to bring this to normalcy and then have extra power to address any failure of equipment like we have experienced recently,” he added.

Back in December, 17 generator sets were purchased to the tune of US$27 million to enhance power generation during the Christmas holiday. Procured from Apan Energy Service, these sets were expected to contribute an additional 28.9 megawatts to the national grid, but there were shipment delays and technical issues in setting them up.

GPL is hoping that by weekend, all of them will be installed.

“They told me that hopefully by Saturday they should be able to get most of the equipment or some of the equipment up and running again, that will allow us to have capacity that maximises the peak demand…I’m going on what GPL is saying because I don’t like putting my neck on a block for GPL and I don’t want to disappoint people but this is what we’re told and they’re working in earnest to get that done,” the Vice President said.