The Hinterland Electrification Company Incorporated (HECI) is working to have a long overdue transformer deployed soon to Port Kaituma. During 2016, two transformers were procured for Mahdia, in Region Eight and Port Kaituma in Region One, but to date the one earmarked for Port Kaituma has not yet been deployed.
Chief Executive Officer, Hinterland Electrification Company Inc. (HECI), Horace Williams
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for HECI, Horace Williams, while answering questions raised about the state of the Hinterland Electrification Project before the Public Accounts Committee today, explained that there were difficulties in executing the project.
“The one (transformer) for Port Kaituma is not yet in place. We’ve experienced difficulty in getting equipment to offload the six-ton transformer at the wharf (Port Kaituma). Previously we had an arrangement with a private company with heavy -duty equipment to offload it for us; apparently that company is not in existence anymore, so we’re trying to make other arrangements,” Williams explained.
The CEO told the committee members that the necessary arrangements were in place to offload the transformer at the Port Kaituma wharf, but it is time consuming to have the equipment deployed in the region using the government’s ferry or a private barge. He added that it is costly to use private equipment to take up the transformer since the private sector charges an exorbitant cost per hour.
“The turnaround time is a major issue for us here. For the government ferry, it takes at least a week for turnaround time so if we send any equipment from town it would be there for a week or more before it comes back so that is the major setback,” Williams said.
Meanwhile the CEO explained that HECI is in currently in discussions with a mining company in Port Kaituma to assist with transporting the transformer. He said the company also has equipment to offload and would take the transformer into the area at the same time.
In December 2015, a contract was awarded for the procurement of two electrical transformers for Mahdia, and Port Kaituma. The units, which cost a total of $6M, are part of the infrastructure needed to upgrade the electricity service provided to the two hinterland communities.
Williams said this is part of the government’s vision to bridge the gap between the hinterland and coastland, and to ensure that all Guyanese benefit from the good life.