Damaged generator causes prolonged blackouts at Port Kaituma

Damaged fuel injectors for a generator that supplies electricity to Port Kaituma residents have resulted in a series of outages in the area over the past two weeks, but Regional Vice Chairman Fermin Singh said power will be restored by Wednesday the latest.

This newspaper was told by residents that Port Kaituma has been faced with electricity problems since August last year after a generator was damaged and Port Kaituma Power and Light was forced to operate on one generator. The situation worsened two weeks ago when they began receiving a mere two to three hours of power per day.

A resident told this newspaper that from last Wednesday to Friday, the community received no electricity.

Gladwyn Fordyce, operator at the Power Station, said the company was working to restore electricity supply in the community yesterday. However up to late yesterday evening this had not been accomplished although power station employees were hard at work.

Formerly, the power company operated on two generators, this newspaper was informed. The smaller generator was used during the daytime while the larger one was used at night.

The Port Kaituma Power Station
The Port Kaituma Power Station

However, the smaller generator was damaged last year and the company has been using the larger generator to supply electricity to the community 24/7, placing it under tremendous strain. Thus, three fuel injectors have been damaged resident Fitz Duke quoted a member of the power company board as saying.

Duke said he was further informed by the board member that a request was made to have the three damaged fuel injectors replaced. However, Duke said, the board member told him an official attached to the office of the Prime Minister suggested that the power company replace all six fuel injectors.

Resident Richard Allen said he was made to understand that parts were purchased to repair the generator but attempts to have the generator up and running were futile.

“We are paying $100 per kilowatt hour of electricity and I strongly believe that we are being over charged. Sometimes we go for days without electricity,” Allen said.

He added that residents have sustained tremendous losses due the prolonged blackouts. He said that at one point residents with generators used to sell electricity to some residents, especially when there was a power failure. However, Allen said the power company had ordered the practice to be discontinued.

Duke also raised the point about that lack of availability of electricity meters in Port Kaituma. He said that the power company says there is a shortage of meters to distribute to new consumers. As such, new consumers are put on a fixed rate regardless of the quantity of power consumed. Calling that unfair, he suggested that the power company recycle unused meters that are on unoccupied buildings.

Meanwhile, Singh said the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) had not received any complaints of power shortage in Port Kaituma from the power company. He said he was only informed by the residents of the community of the frequent blackouts.

He said that on Friday a call was made by the RDC to the office of the Prime Minister and he was informed that the fuel injectors for the generator have arrived in Guyana and are expected to be cleared tomorrow. They should be in Port Kaituma on Tuesday. Power is expected to be permanently restored on Tuesday as well or by the latest, Wednesday, Singh said.

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