By Gary Eleazar
Guyana Power and Light Inc’s (GPL) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bharat Dindyal, yesterday unveiled one the company’s most ambitious progammes, a US$60M project aimed at a drastic reduction in technical and commercial losses.
Dindyal was at the time speaking at the first public engagement by the Company’s Executives for this year.
Among those making presentations to the small gathering at Duke Lodge in Kingston, were Deputy CEO, Finance, Aeshwar Deonarine, Deputy CEO, Technical, Colin Welch, Senior Divisional Director Renford Homer and Divisional Director, Finance, Loris Nathoo.
Dindyal, in making the announcement, said the money for the massive loss reduction project was already secured and would be coming in the form of grants and loans to Government from the Inter American Development Bank and the European Union.
While the company managed to reduce its technical and commercial losses marginally last year, at the end of the year it stood at 30.5 per cent.
According to GPL’s CEO, the project will commence before the end of the year and will be pursued aggressively over the next three years.
He noted that the technological approach will see wide scale installations of smart meters as well as the upgrade of the transmission network.
According to Dindyal, the network will be designed to be fraud proof and the company is hoping to reduce its technical and commercial losses to as little as eight per cent.
GPL currently lose billions of dollars annually as a result of theft and deficiencies in the transmission system.
It was reported that Region Four is responsible for 73 per cent of the total losses.
Homer in his report at the public consultation said that last year 7,039 illegal connections were removed while 489 persons were arrested and 39 persons convicted.
There are currently 1200 cases pending in the court and the officials explained that prosecution was an arduous task.
Last year some 2,266 meters were found to be tampered with, costing the company some $542M and another $23M lost as a result of the illegal street lighting.
Meanwhile, there was good news to report as it relates to the company’s financial performance given an increase in revenue and a decrease in generation costs and fuel prices.
Divisional Director, Finance, Loris Nathoo reported that the company last year recorded in excess of $30.6B up from $29B the previous year.
The company’s generation cost also plummeted by some $2B, down to $25B last year as against the $27B it spent in 2012.
Net losses from its operations also reduced dramatically, according to Nathoo.
He told the public forum that in 2012 net losses from operations was $4.7B while in 2013 this was reduced to $2.8B.
The company spent $22.9B to purchase fuel for its operations last year while the previous year it had to spend $24B.
The company also purchased power from the Guyana Sugar Corporation to the tune of some $278M.
He reported too that the continuous transition to greater use of Heavy Fuel Oil also contributed to lower generation costs.
Dindyal also reported that the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) programme where some 2,000 smart meters were installed around the city business hub has provided some astonishing revelations.
With the information at hand, Dindyal said that the company will soon be pushing to have several of the city businesses that were stealing electricity be put before the courts.
According to Dindyal, the advanced meters were in place in tandem with the other meters and as such the company could have monitored in real time what the company was actually consuming.
Dindyal said that it was astonishing to see that at eight ‘o’ clock in the morning when the consumption at some business locations should actually increase, the power company was noticing instances where it was plummeting according to the existing meters.
The smart meters however were recording the actual consumption unknowing to the businesses owners.
The CEO reported that in the near future the company would be moving to have those businesses prosecuted and hopes that it would send a strong message to others in future that the smart meters were monitoring their actual consumption.
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