Essequibo Coast on 3 month wait for new generators

first_img…temporary measures being sought – CEO…normal power supply by mid-DecemberAs the Cinderella County continues to experience frequent load shedding and blackouts, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Power and Light Inc (GPL), Albert Gordon, has said that every effort is being made by his technical team to address the situation, which he described as unfortunate.However, the GPL head told Guyana Times on Tuesday that a permanent solution to the issue may take until December, as the company is now in the process of acquiring new units to replace those that are currently not in operation due to several reasons. In the meantime, only two units are operating.“We (are) actually in the process of getting new plants to replace these, which are medium scale diesel that are more suited for (this) operation. But that is not expected until mid-December,” Gordon told this newspaper, while explaining that the GPL has been working around the clock to address the situation.He said, “We have been working with a pretty bad situation, and our team is there on the ground 24/7. We have most of our units down…the Caterpillar units used. A couple of them were rented, and they have been down for mechanical, electrical reasons. This is unfortunate.”Gordon said that based on how the situation was evolving, GPL managed to transfer two units from the Demerara-Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS) which provided two megawatts of electricity to the county, but one of the units is not functioning to full capacity.“So we are getting half of a megawatt from it. The second one is testing and brought up to today (Tuesday), and hopefully we will get additional power from that. But most of the units are down, and only two units are operating. One rentalGPL Chief Executive Officer Albert Gordonproviding 1.4 (megawatts) and the .5 (megawatts) which we brought from Canefield.”The GPL CEO said the team is also working to repair the other units, and hopefully by Thursday there could be some significant improvements.“I don’t want to overpromise, but we are working to see what we can do. The total capacity now is only at 2 megawatts, and the average demand is over 4 megawatts, peaking at 4.8; we have to intermingle things and load shedding. A very unsatisfactory situation,” he said.The power company, he said, has catered for a worst-case scenario, but once the initial plans are in place, “this situation like this is not likely to recur. This is not going to happen again.”Gordon said he would visit the county later this week, but in the meantime, a senior team along with the public relations team are on the ground. They are also working closely with Macorp to bring some normalcy to electricity supply.ProtestMeanwhile, several residents held a peaceful protest outside of GPL’s Essequibo office at Anna Regina, demanding answers from the company.The residents held up placards detailing those concerns. Some said the frequent blackouts are affecting their businesses, while other complained that fuel is not a cheap commodity, and they cannot continue to purchase this to get electricity.On the other hand, Region Two (Pomeroon/Supenaam) Vice Chairman and Regional Chairman acting, Nandranie Coonjah, said she cannot find a word to express her feelings as the Region continues to suffer from a total shutdown from the power company’s GPL Anna Regina office.She expressed full support for the protesting residents, and called on Government to immediately intervene and bring some relief to the affected residents, especially those in the business sector.She said she had written Regional Executive Officer (REO) Rupert Hopkinson to organise and convene an extraordinary meeting of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) to be held on Tuesday, but he denied that request and instead said the RDC Boardroom was being used to facilitate a workshop.The acting Regional Chairman said she was disappointed with the REO’s response, especially given the urgency of the meeting of the RDC to deal with matters of immediate public interest of the region. She said the meeting could have gone on, and stressed that the region’s business must take priority.A high level team from GPL is expected to have a special meeting with Councillors of the RDC, to brief them on the many issues facing GPL Anna Regina and give some answers to residents. On the agenda to be discussed are: GPL Anna Regina, Guyana Water Authority, Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Co Ltd, National Insurance Scheme, and Transport and Harbours Department.Also invited to attend this special sitting of the RDC are all Chairmen and Vice Chairmen of all NDCs, the Essequibo Chamber of Commerce, the Private Sector, and heads of other service providers.Coonjah told this newspaper that someone has already been contracted to prepare the site for the new generators. All works are expected to be completed for November.last_img read more