The PPP/C Government is committing to take the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) into the 21st century in an effort to ensure the nation’s potential is no longer constrained by the lack of reliable, affordable, and environmentally sustainable power supply. Specifically, Senior Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh noted during the 2023 budget that many ordinary consumers and businesses, alike, perpetually and rightfully complain about the ailing state of the nation’s power supply system.
Conscious of the debilitating impact that an unreliable and costly electricity supply has on business activity, industrial competitiveness and consumer welfare and satisfaction, Dr. Singh said the government has crafted an energy matrix that will bring greater comfort to citizens.
He was keen to note that GPL is examining options for boosting its short-term generation needs through the acquisition of an additional 50 megawatts (MW) of firm-generating capacity. Additionally, 413 kilometres (km) of new distribution lines and feeders; a new 69 kilovolt (kV) transmission line from Kingston to Sophia and from Edinburgh to Hydronie; new and rehabilitated substations at Hydronie, Sophia, Columbia, Canefield and No. 53 Village; and the replacement of 320 inefficient transformers, will be realized in 2023.
Dr. Singh also noted that GPL is also being prepared to become the off-taker of mega power generation projects, that is, the 300 MW Gas-to-Power project, the 165 MW Amaila Falls Hydro Power Plant, and the 33 MW solar PV systems. He said these transformative power generation projects will be integrated into the electric power systems via a combination of 230kV and 69 kV substations and transmission and distribution lines. He also noted that the new power grid will be supervised and controlled by a modern control centre, which will be constructed at Goedverwagting.
Guyana Standard previously reported that the government has signed a contract for the construction of the integrated natural gas liquids plant and the 300 MW combined cycle gas turbine power plant within the Wales Development Zone. This represents the single largest investment made in the electricity sector, and single largest Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract undertaken. This project is expected to directly cut emissions by 70 percent as well as trigger a series of major economic development initiatives in Guyana as energy costs, a major constraint on productivity, would be significantly reduced.
In 2022, $24.6 billion was paid to meet start up costs associated with this transformative project. In 2023, $43.3 billion is budgeted to facilitate the construction of this plant and associated facilities.
In the area of hydropower, Government said it will relaunch a Request for Proposals for the restart of the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project (AFHP).
Further, to support Government’s renewables objectives, works are being initiated for the construction of a 1.5MW hydropower facility at Kumu and the rehabilitation and upgrade of the 700kWMoco-Moco hydropower plant in Region 9. These works are expected to be completed in 2024, driving the much-needed diversification in our energy matrix, and solving the energy woes of these communities.