Oct 03, 2023 News
…as constant blackouts plague the land
Kaieteur News – Guyana’s current trajectory of growth has not only resulted in a high demand for labour but for power and energy and President Irfaan Ali has urged Guyanese who are consuming high volume of electricity to self-generate during peak hours.
This was revealed by Ali during his appeal to the nation over the concerns raised about the incessant power outages experienced by citizens in various parts of the country. In a live broadcast aired on Saturday, the Head of State explained that the government is dealing with some challenges as regards to addressing the nation’s electricity needs.
The President said: “We have been experiencing power outages; prolonged power outages ….We are dealing with trying to increase capacity to deal with the growth and demand. As I said before the growth and development of our country is not only impacting the supply of labour and material in power too. There is greater demand for power; greater demand for energy.”
Ali revealed the Guyana Power and Light (GPL)—the national electricity supplier is grappling with the situation as they look to find solutions to the problem. He revealed that GPL is actually generating below the level of demand.
Ali explained, “As of August 2020, when we came into office, GPL had a reliable generating capacity of 120 megawatts; the demand at that time was 11 5 megawatts so we had very little room for fluctuation. After we came into office, we added an additional 10 units. However, due to our decision to subsidize the cost for electricity, a number of large companies that were self-generating returned to the grid and that drove up the demand for power to 185 megawatts. So the company is now generating below the demand.”
The Head of State explained further. that the current black outs are experienced during the peak demands hours which are between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm every day and 6:00 pm to 10:00pm in the night.
“So these are the current circumstances we are faced with… I want the population to understand the magnitude of the problem but we are going to fix it!” the President assured. To this end, he noted that his government is working assiduously to ensure that another 30 megawatts will be available by mid-December. At the interim, the President appealed to the high volume users to stay off the grid during peak hours.
“We are arranging to have an additional 30 megawatts in place by mid -December. At the interim, we encourage the high-volume consumers to go back on self-generation during the peak hours. These are just some temporary solutions to the current problem,” he said adding that the government will seek to impose a minimal tax to encourage large energy consumers to return to self-generating during peak hours.
Currently, he noted that the government is subsidizing electricity generation by over US$100 million with VAT removed on electricity and the price for fuel moving from US$41 to US$91 per barrel between 2020 and 2023. The corporate tax on fuel is being absorbed by the government.
As a long-term solution, the President said the proposed Wales Gas-to-Energy project will add a capacity of 300mw to the system and with the Amaila Falls Hydro Power project on stream as anticipated in 2013, there will be an additional 165mw of power available. Additionally, Ali said that within the coming weeks, the government will seek new expressions of interest for the Amaila Falls Hydro Power Project.
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