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GPL seeks power providers

Chairman of GPL, Dr. Rawle Lucas …moves closer to finalising pact with Giftland THE Guyana Power and Light Incorporated (GPL) has moved closer to finalising a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with MCG Investments Inc (Giftland Mall), at a time when GPL is experiencing shortfalls in power generation.

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In line with the government’s vision to enhance the generating and reserve capacity of GPL and to meet the needs of its customers, the new Board of Directors of GPL has considered the proposal from Giftland Mall to enter into a PPA.

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“In furtherance of its consideration, the Board authorised GPL to move forward efforts to finalise a PPA Agreement with MCG Investments Inc. that met the needs and interests of the company. The Board also instructed GPL Inc. to ensure all of the legal and regulatory modalities were satisfied,” said GPL

While the legal and regulatory modalities are being completed, the board also authorised GPL to commence inviting Expressions of Interest (EoIs) from other potential power providers with immediately available generation capacity

Chairman of Giftland Mall, Roy Beepat Chairman of the Giftland Group, Roy Beepat, had said that Giftland Mall is ready to help ease the present power predicament. Beepat justified his power plant’s capability, noting that it requires very minor technical connection to place the power plant on the grid, since the poles are already laid. He also said that Giftland’s cost is below that of GPL’s diesel plants

“We cannot alleviate all the problems but we can certainly help and are on standby for the word to have this done,” said Beepat

It was reported that government, through the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, had taken measures to ensure that blackouts are reduced. Part of those efforts included pursuing power purchase agreements with Giftland Mall and Banks DIH Ltd. for five megawatts each, during peak hours

GPL’s Chief Executive Officer, Albert Gordon, in June, had said the two significant potential suppliers – Banks DIH and Giftland – use heavy fuel oil and have the capacity to boost the power grid. Banks DIH installed a 10MW to boost their operations and Gordon said discussions were held with the company to provide GPL with power. He said while the beverage giant was not too enthusiastic, the power company is still hopeful. He said the power from Banks DIH would be required mostly for the evening. That is also the case with power from Giftland and he added that there were legal constraints regarding the sourcing of power from the latter

While GPL moves to iron out the agreement with Giftland, the company is faced with a tough challenge since there has been a shortfall in power generation in the DemeraraBerbice Interconnected System (DBIS)

GPL remains committed to supplying reliable electricity to our valued customers. However, due to unforeseen occurrences and generation/operational issues, we are currently challenged with providing the required generation during peak demand,” said GPL

In Berbice, due to a defective transformer at the Onverwagt, Berbice Substation, GPL is unable to export 6.9 MW of power to the DBIS. Additionally, a 5.5 MW generator at the Canefield power plant is unavailable because of scheduled maintenance

Over in Demerara, at the Kingston Power Plant, a 6.9 MW unit is unavailable due to a defective alternator, which had to be sourced overseas. The alternator has arrived, and repairs are expected to be completed by the end of the week. Thereafter the unit will return to operation by Monday, September 9, 2019

At the Garden-of-Eden power station, a 4MW is unavailable as GPL is awaiting the arrival of replacement parts for the defective components. “Our company is aggressively injecting efforts to ensure all units are returned to operation in the shortest possible time. However, with a deficit of approximately 23 MW, customers in Demerara and Berbice will experience periods of service disruptions. Public advisories will be disseminated to inform and prepare customers…we apologise for the inconvenience caused,” said GPL

Meanwhile, On Tuesday, September 3, while a contactor was carrying out work on the Sheriff/Mandela Road expansion project, one of GPL’s poles with two transformers was up-rooted in the vicinity of the Rubis Gas Station on Mandela Avenue

This resulted in a service interruption to a number of communities in South Georgetown, Queenstown and Lacytown. GPL, as such, reminded the public to exercise caution when conducting works in close proximity to its infrastructure