Apr 05, 2017 News
The birth of the Power Producer & Distributors Incorporated (PPDI) was yesterday christened with the official instalment of its Board of Directors. Eight of the nine members required to complete the board, were appointed
during a simple ceremony at the Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MPI)’s office in Kingston, Georgetown.
The members of the company’s board are its Chairman, Mark Bender; Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Arron Fraser; Secretary, Ronald Burch-Smith; Verlyn Klass; Stephen Fraser; Amanza Walton-Desir; Permanent Secretary of the MPI, Geoffrey Vaughn; and Harryram Parmesar.
The ninth member of the board, which has to be chosen by the Opposition, is yet to be named.
Power Producer and Distributors Incorporated serves as the replacement for Wärtsilä Company, whose contract came to an end in December 2016. The company now takes over the responsibility of managing the operations and maintenance of Guyana Power and Light (GPL) engines.
In his address to the directors, Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson, defended government’s decision to not retain the services of the Wärtsilä Company.
“The exorbitant rates proposed by the multinational for the new operations and maintenance agreement, (which ranged from US$15.54M to US$26.21M per MW) made the decision easier – we estimate a saving of US$3.73M per MW,” Patterson explained.
Even though Wärtsilä’s human resource comprised of many Guyanese, the Minister said that the move to replace Wärtsilä, was done in the best interest of Guyanese who are fully capable of performing the functions of the overseas company.
Patterson indicated that over the years, local professionals have demonstrated increased competency.
“The local subsidiary of the multinational was always manned by a 100 percent Guyanese workforce that continues to demonstrate increased competency in the management of the power plants. Over the last two years the most challenging of maintenance activities – major overhauls – were completed by an entirely local team, thus eliminating the need for overseas service engineers.”
Patterson added too, that “Major overhauls conducted by the entirely local engineers lasted 14-16 days, while the last two major overhauls (one of which is ongoing) were conducted by the Wärtsilä experts. These lasted in excess of 30 days.”
Minister Patterson clarified that even though the contract with Wärtsilä has not been renewed, the company is still required to complete the remaining overhaul.
Nonetheless, the Minister asserted to the board members that they were carefully selected and assembled to oversee the operations of PPDI, “because they bring a wealth of diverse, but relevant competencies and experiences necessary for its success.”
“Though diverse, your competencies and experiences provide an opportunity for excellent synergies, which only augurs well for the future of PPDI,” Patterson added.
The Minister said that, “There is a structured employees’ education programme in place which was developed by the locals and is context specific to the Guyana power plants. This programme has been a main contributory factor to the successes of past.”
Patterson said too that the retention of generated profits will facilitate the investment in people and new equipment, “as we prepare for future opportunities.”
Also attending the ceremony was Junior Public Infrastructure Minister, Annette Ferguson.
“With your experience and ideas, I hope you will be able to enhance and meet the vision of the greening of Guyana by 2025,” she said in brief remarks.
In response, the company’s new Chairman, Mark Bender, thanked the ministers on behalf of the board and indicated his pleasure in the company having gained the experience of Wärtsilä through its capacity. He also said that satisfactory electricity supply is a key component of development and pledged his commitment and dedication to his duty, while employing best practices, in service to the Government and the people of Guyana.
The newly installed board is expected to meet shortly to discuss, and soon after, implement its plans.
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