Prime Minister Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips held an urgent meeting with the Guyana Power and Light Incorporated (GPL) on Monday to address blackout complaints from residents in Regions Three and Four.
The Prime Minister said blackouts are due to a poorly maintained electricity grid which the power company is rectifying.
“We have inherited a transmission and distribution system that, frankly speaking, should have gone through continuous maintenance over the last five years. My understanding is that the maintenance schedule over the last five years has not been consistent. So, we are at a stage now where we are doing a lot of corrective maintenance work,” he said.
Prime Minister Phillips said much more emphasis will be placed on strengthening GPL’s communication with residents on the planned maintenance works so that households can properly prepare for the inconveniences that may arise.
Meanwhile, Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar, who was also at the meeting, said GPL will prioritise additional works as it seeks to fix the transmission issues.
“They’re areas which we are looking into, which is inspection, putting more focus on inspection and preventative maintenance,” he said.
Additionally, Chief Executive Officer of GPL, Mr. Bharat Dindyal said the power outages are expected to lessen over the coming weeks.
“In three outages over a three-week period, we should be able to stabilise the entire East Bank and the East Coast.”
These outages will start on Friday, March 12 on the East Bank Demerara to allow maintenance works on the circuit from Nandy Park to Craig. Other works are to be done on the South Ruimveldt to Nandy Park circuit.
On the East Coast Demerara, GPL will conduct maintenance works on the Columbia to Victoria circuit.
The CEO said the planned maintenance is a major undertaking that includes personnel from multiple sections of the company.
GPL Chairman of the Board, Mr. Maurice Gajadhar said the supply of reliable electricity remains GPL’s main goal, even as he committed to ensuring that the transmission issues are effectively addressed.
GPL sought to get a head start to upkeep its transmission during the latter part of 2020, with much work being done over the past few months.