The emerging trend of electrical poles being damaged during accidents thereby leading to widespread blackouts is just the tip of an iceberg facing the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) if it does not get its act together.
During an Alliance for Change press conference today, former Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson said that the power outages caused by accidents are a key indicator that the current system is failing. He said it is critical that the management of GPL puts systems in place to alleviate further issues to the grid. He said there needs to be urgent and rigid regulation along with increased maintenance works.
When asked by Guyana Guyana Standard about the state of the current system and what could happen if key issues are ignored by officials of GPL, Patterson said it is clear Guyanese need to brace for daily blackouts in the coming months to years as he sees no desire for meaningful change.
“This is an issue we foresaw a couple of years ago. We recognized that there were a number of issues with GPL and we tried to minimize the effects of all we are seeing now. We started to put Infrastructure in place to deal with these occurrences but they did their own thing,” Patterson said.
Additionally, the Opposition Member said that the majority of GPL’s issues are in its procurement processes. In responding to another question by this news outlet, he accused the administration of purchasing substandard equipment.
“What we did was to go directly to the manufacturer of the best products. So when we bought a fuse or a spacer we went to the European companies…so (it seems) they went back to what they have said is the procurement method and they use these middle men who go and buy these cheap plastic products which give you only three months of service,” Patterson noted.
Patterson said that there is now worry that GPL may be reverting to it’s old plans for power stabilization, which he said did not work in favour of the then administration.
“Right now, there is a deficiency in power supply because nothing is working; so for the next two years, when they decide to bring the gas-to shore project, if we do not start to address these issues, every single day—as we are having now we will be having power failure,” Patterson said.