The Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Incorporated has said that it will work harder this year to improve its efficiency, though the company is still faced with several major issues.
GPL Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Technical), Elwyn Marshall, told this media group that notwithstanding these challenges; GPL has managed to perform commendable in 2017 and could only improve from thereon.
“Credit must be given to the hard-working staff, especially those in the transmission and distribution sections who have been forced to work under extremely adverse conditions,” he said.
One of the major challenges, Marshall posited, is no growth in revenue or consumption.
Revenue fell from 103.7 per cent in 2016 to 93.9 per cent in 2017, with net revenue of $28.4B last year as opposed to$29B in 2016. However, according to Marshall, December settlement of Government bills will lead to an improvement in collection rate.
He noted also that customer growth of less than 2,000 or 50 per cent is also expected this year.
In listing some of the achievements made in 2017, the GPL official pointed to work done to expand the network to provide electricity to unserved areas which include: Yarrowkabra Housing Development, Den Hueval Housing Scheme, New Savannah Housing Scheme, and Friendship Squatting area.
Marshall said projections for 2018 include the commissioning of the Anna Regina (5.4MG), Canefield (5.5MW), and Bartica (3.3MW). Expression of interests have also been accepted and bids evaluated for the establishment of a 50MW generation plant capable of utilising natural gas.
Further, the company will also be working towards establishing solar facilities in Lima Sands, Essequibo Coast; Naartigheid, West Coast Berbice; Kuru Kururu, East Bank Demerara.
There will also be, according to Marshall, continued engagement on the establishment of a wind farm at Hope, East Coast Demerara.
Meanwhile, the Power Producers and Distributors Incorporation (PPDI) made a commitment to support GPL with quality and ample power. PPDI Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Arron Fraser said PPDI generated 596,000 megawatts of electricity in 2017, which helped to power several GPL projects.
PPDI had replaced Wärtsila and has since helped GPL to save US$2.1M.