Permanent fix for Essequibo blackouts by December- GPL CEO

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GPL CEO: Albert Gordon

Essequibians who are currently plagued by frequent load shedding and power outages may have to wait a bit longer than expected for a permanent fix to their electrical problems.

This is according to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Power and Light Inc (GPL), Albert Gordon, who told this media group that a permanent solution to the issue may take until December, as the company is now in the process of acquiring new units to replace those that are currently not in operation due to several reasons. In the meantime, only two units are operating.

“We (are) actually in the process of getting new plants to replace these, which are medium scale diesel that are more suited for (this) operation. But that is not expected until mid-December,” Gordon said  while explaining that the GPL has been working around the clock to address the situation.

He noted also that every effort is being made by his technical team to address the situation, which he described as unfortunate.

Gordon said that based on how the situation was evolving, GPL managed to transfer two units from the Demerara-Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS) which provided two megawatts of electricity to the county, but one of the units is not functioning to full capacity.

“So we are getting half of a megawatt from it. The second one is testing and brought up to today (Tuesday), and hopefully we will get additional power from that. But most of the units are down, and only two units are operating. One rental providing 1.4 (megawatts) and the .5 (megawatts) which we brought from Canefield.”

The GPL CEO said the team is also working to repair the other units, and hopefully by Thursday there could be some significant improvements.

“I don’t want to overpromise, but we are working to see what we can do. The total capacity now is only at 2 megawatts, and the average demand is over 4 megawatts, peaking at 4.8; we have to intermingle things and load shedding. A very unsatisfactory situation,” he said.

The power company, he said, has catered for a worst-case scenario, but once the initial plans are in place, “this situation like this is not likely to recur. This is not going to happen again.”

Gordon said he would visit the county later this week, but in the meantime, a senior team along with the public relations team are on the ground. They are also working closely with Macorp to bring some normalcy to electricity supply.

Meanwhile, several residents held a peaceful protest outside of GPL’s Essequibo office at Anna Regina, demanding answers from the company.

The residents held up placards detailing those concerns. Some said the frequent blackouts are affecting their businesses, while other complained that fuel is not a cheap commodity, and they cannot continue to purchase this to get electricity.

On the other hand, Region Two (Pomeroon/Supenaam) Vice Chairman and Regional Chairman acting, Nandranie Coonjah, said she cannot find a word to express her feelings as the Region continues to suffer from a total shutdown from the power company’s GPL Anna Regina office.

She expressed full support for the protesting residents, and called on Government to immediately intervene and bring some relief to the affected residents, especially those in the business sector.

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