Govt to seek over US$180M in supplementary funding for GPL

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
The power ship in Guyana’s waters

Government will soon approach the National Assembly for US$180M- US$250M in supplementary funding for the Guyana Power and Light (GPL).

This sum will be used to upgrade the transmission and distribution network to improve the supply of electricity across the country, according to Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo.

The power company was allocated $95.7 billion in the 2024 National Budget.

Responding to questions at his weekly press conference relating to a request from GPL for the additional sum, Jagdeo said “we will fund these activities.”

But he is unsure whether the money will be provided via a loan.

“Even if we have it funded from a loan, we still have to get it cleared in parliament,” he told reporters.

Given the ongoing issue of frequent power outages and the push to complete the Gas to Energy project, the Vice President noted that the financial paper will be tabled in the National Assembly shortly since the upgrades have to start “almost immediately.”

Already, the Government has invested US$1M to mobilise a power ship with a total installed capacity of 36 Megawatts (MWs) for two years. The ship, which will be located at Everton, Berbice, will be interconnected with GPL’s grid.

The power ship is expected to be fully operational and deliver electricity by May 8, 2024.

GPL has to pay a fee of 6.62 US cents per kWh as a monthly charter fee for the power ship and a monthly operation and maintenance fee of 0.98 US cents per kWh based on electricity generated.

GPL is also required to provide Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) for the operation of the generators onboard the vessel.

The contract for the power ship was signed with Qatar-based Urbacon Concessions Investments.

Meanwhile, Jagdeo has since explained that if the weak transmission system and poor distribution system are not upgraded, “we will have more power, but still have blackouts”.