GPL gets US$2.5M from IDB for expansion works in 2020

first_imgA section of GPL’s interconnected systemThe Guyana Power and Light Inc has secured US$2.5 million in funding from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which it will use for expansion works slated to begin next year.Among the projects to be executed is the construction of a transmission line measuring five kilometres between the Sophia and Kingston Substations, according to the Department of Public Information (DPI).This will be done to duplicate the link between the two stations to make the Demerara-Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS) more resilient.In recent months, GPL has come in for major criticisms for its ineffective service.Meanwhile, GPL’s Divisional Director of Projects, Ryan Ross explained that GPL only has one transmission line between the two stations, and if that line develops a fault, the entire system shuts down.A second transmission line would help to minimise these power disruption occurrences. Plans are also in the pipeline to construct a transmission line from Vreed-en-Hoop to Wales.Afterwards, a substation will be constructed at Wales, from which another transmission line will connect Wales to Garden of Eden.GPL recently appeared before the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) where company officials rolled out their plans for improved performance.The utility company has long come under fire for its subpar service, characterised by an unstable supply of electricity to its customers.In fact, only recently, GPL’s submarine cable that transmits power between the Vreed-en-Hoop and Kingston Substations was damaged, triggering widespread and prolonged blackouts across the country.GPL told the PUC that for 2018, there was a 1.86 per cent reduction in losses in comparison to 2017. This translated to an overall 27.74 per cent reduction, while 2017 had a record of 29.6 per cent. According to GPL’s presentation, the reduced losses were attributed to the replacement of a number of smart meters, detection and energy recovery from electricity diversion, installation of a more secure network to safeguard against electricity diversion, load balancing on low voltage and primary network, and the upgrade of approximately 300km of low voltage and primary network.With this in mind, the power company rolled out measures that have taken effect as of this year to improve its performance. These include the upgrade of additional low voltage and primary network under GPL’s Power Utility Upgrade Programme (PUUP). Moreover, GPL continues to work towards the upgrade of its network to aid in the reduction of electricity diversion.In relation to the measures implemented to improve performance for its large customers, GPL outlined plans to complete a field audit of all maximum demand and small business installation.With respect to meter reading, plans are afoot to complete the field audit of all meter reading routes. This will be done to improve customer account records and bring estimated billing to an all-time low.Last month, newly appointed Chairman of GPL, Rawle Lucas expressed optimism of being able to end what has been described as the country’s “blackout woes”.last_img read more