GMSA/ IDB partnering to deliver private sector energy efficiency project

Caribbean ESCO Ltd, a Jamaican energy consultancy company, and a local electrical engineering firm, Dynamic Engineering Company, are collaborating with the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) in the execution of a project designed to improve energy management in the local manufacturing sector by improving the efficiency of electrical equipment and appliances.

Stabroek Business has learnt that the GMSA has secured funding from the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) of the Inter American Development Bank (IDB) with which to support the execution of a two-phased Energy Efficiency Project. The MIF is to provide 70 per cent of the funding for the project while the local manufacturing sector will provide the remaining 30 per cent.  The GMSA said the project is designed to address three critical electricity-related challenges facing the manufacturing sector, conservation, consumption and alternative energy.

The first phase of the project will see five local private sector entities serving as pilots in energy efficiency rating study which has already begun and is being conducted by Caribbean ESCO and Dynamic Engineering.

The efficiency survey will be collecting baseline data on lighting equipment and accessories, heating and cooling equipment, motorized drives and other energy-consuming equipment in order to determine the actual levels of their efficiency.

The second phase of the project which commences in the first quarter of next year will take the form of an energy audit that will involve in-plant measurements and monitoring aimed at determining variances between actual and rated electricity consumption levels. The audit is to be conducted by Guyanese-born energy auditor Dr Carl Duncan who will also be making corrective recommendations aimed at improving electricity consumption efficiency.

Caribbean ESCO Chief Executive Officer Eaton Haughton was in Guyana recently to meet the local entities involved in the pilot study, which will involve measuring the power input and output at each of the five entities and assessing the suitability of electrical installations in their respective plants and offices. Stabroek Business has learnt that the consultant will also be seeking to determine the energy consumption levels of the companies involved in the pilot study as against their actual needs. These studies, according to the GMSA, will eventually be factored into workable energy management formulas for various categories of enterprises in Guyana. The end objective is to equip local business entities with reliable technical formulas for implementing their electrical generation plans.

Haughton has conducted several similar energy audit exercises in the region with one such exercise having been undertaken at the Caricom Secretariat last year. Prior to departing Guyana Haughton met Prime Minister Samuel Hinds who holds Cabinet responsibility for the energy sector. The Terms of Reference of the project dictate that it be executed within the regulatory framework of the country’s national energy policy and that the Government of Guyana be kept updated on its outcomes through the Guyana National Energy Authority. (GNEA)

During his stay in Guyana, Haughton held discussions with GMSA representatives on the creation of long-term energy management plans for the private sector. The discourses reportedly extended into the suitability of renewable energy infrastructure including solar and wind power.

The GMSA energy survey initiative comes against the backdrop of continually spiraling energy costs, energy-generation challenges being faced by the state-run Guyana Power and Light Company (GPL) and an ongoing and often controversial debate over the creation of a hydropower facility. Over the years, the manufacturing sector has blamed its lack of competitiveness chiefly on high energy costs including the significantly increased operating costs associated with having to install their own electricity generating facilities.

Stabroek Business has learnt that during his discussions with the GMSA Haughton expressed the view that Guyana is one of several Caribbean countries in which there is a dearth of sound technical information regarding the optimization of electricity consumption. Moreover, the Jamaican expert expressed the view that many consumers in the region continue to be misled into believing that the acquisition of new equipment was necessarily a solution to the problem of high energy costs. Haughton has expressed the view that “reducing energy consumption and proper monitoring and maintenance of equipment that conduct electricity from the exterior to the interior of buildings is much more cost effective.”

As part of the project, local business owners will benefit from three workshops, the first of which is scheduled to take place in December, targeting the food and agricultural, services, manufacturing and other sectors.

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