Jul 24, 2017 News
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is of the firm opinion that the reduction in technical and commercial line losses would strengthen the resilience of the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) against adverse oil price shocks.
The body made this statement in its 2017 report on the review of Guyana’s economy. While it hopes that moves would be made to improve this state of affairs at GPL, IMF staff nonetheless acknowledged improvements in Guyana Power and Light’s (GPL) performance in recent times.
Furthermore, in collaboration with key stakeholders, local authorities have recently completed a draft national energy policy (NEP) which provides a roadmap for Guyana to transition towards its 100 percent renewable energy target by 2025.
This was also acknowledged by the IMF which stated that initial plans consist of two medium-sized hydro-electric dams (100 megawatt capacity each) and initiatives to encourage solar farms to provide electricity to isolated hinterland communities.
Additionally, the IMF noted that the Guyana Power and Light has embarked on a programme to enhance its institutional capacity, improve operational efficiency and upgrade its infrastructure to increase the reliability of domestic electricity supply.
With the help of a loan programme sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the issue of line losses was expected to be drastically improved since 2015.
Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, who also shares responsibility for the energy sector, had told this newspaper that GPL has all intentions of “significantly reducing” losses way below 23 percent at the end of the loan programme.
Patterson had said, “With the IDB loan programme, there will be some managerial reforms and capacity building. The programme will assist us in being more efficient in tackling the line losses which as you know occurs through electricity theft but at the end of the programme we are expected to bring the line losses below the short term target of 23 percent. It will be significantly reduced.”
Patterson reminded that this IDB loan programme of about US$54M was started since 2013.
“However, of the US$54M only $300M was disbursed because of slothfulness of the previous administration in getting this programme completed. But I have now put this on the front burner and we are moving expeditiously with it. This programme was actually taken on during the saga of the Amaila Falls Hydro Project,” the Minister said.
He continued, “IDB had indicated to the then government that should such an energy project be pursued then a condition of the loan programme would be to effectively address the capacity problems facing GPL, one of which was the line losses. They stressed on this condition because they wanted to ensure that the real benefits that would accrue from such a project would be enjoyed by the consumers.”
The Minister with responsibility for energy said that this programme will not only deal with the technical and commercial line losses but pave the way for government to move ahead with projects for alternate energy sources in the future.
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