By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Guyana Power and Light (GPL) today (Wednesday, December 17), commissioned its Infrastructure Development Project along with its Ruimveldt, Georgetown substation; boasting of a better generation and distribution of electricity to citizens for the upcoming Christmas season and beyond.
Chairman of GPL’s Board, Winston Brassington explained, during this morning’s commissioning exercise, that the completion of the project now sees the creation of an integrated grid linking Berbice and Demerara; is a prerequisite for the Amaila Falls Hydropower Plant and will enable GPL to maintain volt stability.
He said throughout the project the utility company has always ensured value for money and that the project was done to meet international standards.
Brassington said GPL will now be looking at rebuilding its distribution systems while pointing out that generated power is now at 106 megawatts up from 44 megawatts a decade ago.
He is hopeful that this improvement will help to reduce the company’s losses even as he pointed to the continuing challenges plaguing the company.
“Despite these improvements, a lot more still needs to be done in terms of ensuring uninterrupted distribution of electricity,” he added.
Meanwhile, GPL’s CEO Bharrat Dindyal provided a technical overview of the project which was financed in part by a concessional loan of US$38 million from the China Exim Bank.
He recognized too that despite the improvements, the system leaves a lot to be desired and says he understands the frustration of the citizenry in response to sometimes frequent and untimely power outages.
Delivering the feature address, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds who also has responsibility for the energy sector picked up on the point. Hinds called on his fellow country men and women to change their attitude and culture; where it is felt that it is ok to steal electricity.
He said Guyanese are selling themselves short. “It is time to end it… it is time to end the theft of electricity,” he said. The Prime Minister advised that GPL’s rates are not high as is believed and said nothing can be more self-perpetuating than stealing electricity.
PM Hinds boasted of the improvements GPL has made in its generation and distribution of power; recognizing too that much more still needs to be done, particularly with increased levels of demand.
He extended appreciation to the Chinese for their assistance even as he encourages other foreign investors to follow suit.