GWI commissions $160M drilling rig

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The Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) on Thursday commissioned a drilling rig, which was acquired from Brazil to improve the nation’s water access.

Director of Operations, Dwayne Shako explained that the $160 million rig can drill to 1000 metres (3,000 feet) which would allow the company to drill wells along the coast.

Shako said the rig was built from scratch in Brazil and fittings and spares are readily available in the country.

It will be dispatched to the coast where another rig is located. This new equipment takes approximately six weeks to drill a well.

According to Shako, GWI plans to drill eight wells from now to May 2021. The first will be drilled in Central Georgetown and will be located on Mandela Avenue.

“This will allow us to bring the Central Water Treatment Plant up to 24 hours. So, areas like Roxanne Burnham Gardens, Guyhoc Park, East and West Ruimveldt that are currently receiving 12 hours of water will then have a 24-hour supply,” Shako explained.

Following this, the company will proceed to drill wells in Berbice, Region 6; the Farm-Prospect area on the East Bank of Demerara in Region 4; and Tuschen in Region 3. Wells will also be drilled in Region 2 and Amelia’s Ward in Region 10.

Managing Director, Dr. Richard Van West-Charles stated that when the company’s strategic plan was launched, it focused on GWI’s capacity to improve water production of groundwater production.

While highlighting the critical importance of water amid this pandemic, Dr. Van West-Charles shared that there has been a 20 percent increase in water consumption as a result of COVID-19 pandemic since January.

According to the Managing Director, once the novel coronavirus has been curtailed, the utility company is expecting equipment from Holland, which will provide greater capacity in maintaining the 139 wells in Guyana.

Dr. Van West-Charles assured that with better water production and strengthened capabilities GWI will be in a much better position by the end of the year, to ensure the gaps in equities have been met.