By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – With Guyana Power and Light’s (GPL) recently commissioned Vreed-en-Hoop Power Station supplying electricity to thousands of consumers in Region Three, GPL officials yesterday sought to clarify some controversy surrounding it.
The plant increased the capacity from a current 87 megawatts to 106 megawatts in Demerara. Persons residing as far as Berbice are expected to benefit from the increased capacity at the power station, but according to reports, GPL has been spending millions of dollars to truck fuel to the facility rather than using the river to supply its fuel as was planned.
GPL’s CEO Bharrat Dindyal explained on Tuesday that the transport of fuel via the Demerara Harbour Bridge is the least expensive alternative available to the company given the fact that the wharf that is expected to host fuel lines is yet to be completed.
According to the CEO, in evaluating the method of fuel transport decided on, attention was also placed on the possibility of using smaller vessels to transport fuels via the Demerara River.
The CEO said the latter option would have been costlier for the company.
“That turned out to be far more expensive than the option we are using now,” said Dindyal noting that the company is currently exploring another option that is expected to be even more inexpensive. That option could be implemented in less than six weeks, Dindyal concluded.
Meanwhile, GPL’s Financial Director Loris Nathoo told media operatives that the trucking of fuel would cost the company approximately $10M per month.
Nathoo however maintained that “if we were not trucking the fuel we would not be able to utilize the plant and instead we would have to use much more expensive diesel generators….using a diesel generator, would cost us about 90% more, so trucking the fuel pales in comparison to continuing the use of diesel generators.”
It was noted that the contractors of the delayed fuel wharf may be subject to penalties as stipulated in the contract for the added costs borne by the electricity company.
Assurances have been given that special attention would be placed on getting the much cheaper option of fuel transport available to the company as soon as possible.
Further, GPL says that it plans to “ramp” up its capacity in an effort to ensure that customers will be affected by less power outages.