The PM is quoted as saying the new 46.5MW power generators currently being installed is “part of the Government’s plan for reliable electricity” – Hogwash!! What Plan?
Like every other sector in the Country, there were no plans pre-2015 – absolutely nothing. Our electricity sector was on the verge of collapse by 2015. It was barely being powered by generating sets, some over 35 years old, which of course led to the complete unreliability of the system. The coalition administration spent the next five years from 2015 systematically rebuilding and improving the power sector using clear and workable solutions.
In five years under the coalition administration, nine new generating sets totaling 63MW were purchased (Anna Regina – 5.4MW, Bartica – 3.4MW, Bellevue – 1.5MW, Canefield – 5.5MW and Garden of Eden (five sets) – 46.5MW). In 2015 the generating capacity of GPL was listed at 120 – 125MW, which means that in five short years, the coalition’s work increased the generating capacity of the company by 50%. Never in the history of the company has it enjoyed such a huge increase in generating capacity in such a short period.
Even more impressive, was that this increase was financed without any external loans. Under the PPP between 2007 and 2014, US$155M in loans were taken on behalf of GPL. This entire amount was mismanaged due to a lack of vision and corruption, resulting in the broken system pre-2015. On average, US$22M per year in loans was given to GPL during this period, yet our power sector was on life support in 2015. Not only was GPL able to increase their generating capacity by 50% in 5 years, but they started repaying the interest on these loans. Commencing in 2015, GPL started to repay the people of Guyana US$5M per year towards this massive debt, and were still able to advance their work program – that’s what having a sound and workable plan should be.
GPL’s improvement was not only limited to procurement of generators – during the same period, but the company was also able to reduce its technical and commercial line losses by 5%, which resulted in annual savings of G$450M. The company also carried out an impressive maintenance program some of which is outlined below: –
· Almost all the transmission lines, over 300km, were repaired or upgraded – despite the big lie by the PPP, that no maintenance work was done on the transmission lines in the last four years. This lie being used as a pretext to hire foreign contractors at huge costs thus bypassing our local contractors and inhouse staff, who were providing yeoman service until 2020.
· Construction of 16km of new feeder cables between Vreed-en-hoop and Vriesland.
· Installation and upgrade of the express feeders on the Demerara Berbice Interconnected System.
· Installation of a new 13.8kv submarine cable between Vreed-en-Hoop and Princess Street to provide redundancy due to the very poorly thought out and installed cable between Vreed-en-Hoop and Kingston, a cable that continues to be damaged on a regular basis.
· Installation of 486km of new primary distribution lines and upgrade of 272km of primary distribution lines.
· Installation of 231km of new secondary distribution lines and upgrade of 519km of secondary distribution lines.
· Replacement of 87,717 service lines.
· Installation of 502 new transformers and replacement of 2,292 defective transformers.
During the five-year period, GPL also gave back to the communities. The company provided power to 60 unserved areas, benefitting 26,286 residents – this was done entirely at the expense of the company. The coalition administration removed the PPP policy of having customers in unserved areas pay 25% of the capital costs for installation of power, a hardship policy which has resumed once again.
During this period under the coalition Government, GPL did not only look after the small guys, but the big guys as well. Prior to 2015, GPL’s license did not facilitate distributed generation, hence the company was legally prevented from purchasing excess generation from its customers or from commercial or industrial business. The coalition administration amended GPL’s license thus allowing the company to purchase excess generation from private renewables and non-renewable sources – any guess who now benefits from these amendments?
And what about the plans that the coalition administration left in place which the PPP are slavishly following, yet seeking to claim as their own: –
· The Kingdom of Norway was so impressed with the coalition administration’s Energy Diversification Program, our roadmap to transition from Heavy Fuel generation to 100% Renewable Energy (yes, the same study that the PPP claimed to have used to justify their proposed white elephant Wales Gas to Shore project), that they immediately committed to use some of the US$80M, previously set aside for the equally short-sighted Amaila Falls Hydro to construct 3 x 10MW solar farms. It will be interesting to see how the PPP will try to convince Norway to reallocate these funds back to the Amaila Falls project since Norway acknowledged that the coalition’s energy plans were far superior to anything that the PPP had conceived.
· The 1.5MW hybrid solar power plant for Wakenaam.
· The 1MW hybrid solar power plant for Leguan
· The 4MW solar power plant for Fort Wellington.
· The 1.5MW solar power plant for Bartica.
· Construction of four new substations with associated high voltage transmission lines.
All the above projects have commenced, all were conceptualized by the coalition administration, who had a clear, transparent, and workable plan to address the country’s energy needs.
As the saying goes “show me yours and I will show you mine”. All the above is a small part of the coalition’s plans, it’s time for the PPP to reveal theirs.