Cabinet has approved a contract for the provision of consultancy services for the implementation of a Management Strengthening programme for the Guyana Power and Light Incorporated (GPL). The contract was awarded to Manitoba Hydro International Limited.
During a post-Cabinet press briefing today, at the Ministry of the Presidency, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon explained that the project is part of a $1.6B European Union (EU) and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Power Utility Upgrade Programme (PUUP) which will be rolled out in phases.
The Guyana Power and Light, Main Street
Meanwhile, Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson further explained that the first component of the project involves the improvement of capacity building for the executive management of the power company, while a second element will focus on the improvement of the company’s loss reduction programme.
Ferguson noted that currently loss reduction stands at approximately 29.3 percent, and it is envisaged that this project will see a reduction in technical losses by about 23.8 percent. “With these monies being released, we will see a more effective and efficient GPL at the managerial level, and that of the services being provided to the populace in Guyana,” Ferguson said.
A question was asked about whether this project will include the hiring of foreign managers, and if there will be an increase in electricity tariffs. While Minister Ferguson did not pronounce on whether persons from overseas will be hired, the Minister said that the power company does not foresee any increase in tariffs.
Recently, Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson had told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that the EU-IDB funded project will also cater for capital works, which include acquiring prepaid smart meters and upgrading the distribution systems and other facilities to improve electricity distribution. Tenders for this component of the projects are currently being reviewed.
There will also be an adequate number of prepaid meters being available by year-end, and the implementation of smart meters.
The use of a more advanced meter, installed to a high standard in a secure manner has delivered acceptable returns for large consumers. Thus, through PUUP, GPL intends to implement a well-designed social management strategy to be the mechanism which encourages consumers to embrace the project.
PUUP was approved in 2014 and is designed to support GPL in executing fundamental infrastructure investments and in improving the organisation’s performance with the implementation of a Corporate Development Programme (CDP). This will allow for a culture change toward an organisation able to supply energy within minimum international standards.