The Guyana Power and Light (GPL) says construction crews will begin building new networks in Agricola, North East La Penitence and Albouystown next week.
In a press release the company said the old distribution system in these areas will be replaced with new transformers, power lines, poles and other hardware that will allow it to accommodate additional load on demand. When these networks are completed and energised, from seven to 10 days from next Monday, “only the legitimate customers whose accounts are active and current will be connected.”
GPL said its records show that 1,082 Agricola residents have long outstanding arrears amounting to about $50M. There are also 560 defaulting consumers in North East La Penitence and 930 in Albouystown.
The company advises defaulters to go to its Main Street commercial office to regularise their accounts. GPL said it has already implemented a very flexible payment plan to accommodate consumers who had accumulated large balances that they could not immediately liquidate.
GPL said West Ruimveldt residents are already benefiting from this plan. Construction of the new network in this area is almost complete and legitimate customers have been connected. The company also said about 40% of customers who had been connected illegally have either liquidated their arrears in full or have entered into long-term, phased payment contracts and they too have been connected to the new network. This exercise is slated to extend throughout the city, East and West Coast Demerara, West and East Berbice, to the Essequibo islands and Coast. GPL said this programme has become vital to its sustainability as the company is now faced with crippling expenditures caused by the ever increasing costs of fuel, generator spare parts and components to keep the transmission and distribution networks sufficiently viable to maintain a stable supply of power. It also said with the imminent Christmas holiday season, when the demand for electricity usually increases it is imperative for it to be able to accommodate the increased load and avoid power outages.
The Skeldon co-generation power plant plays a vital role in executing this plan. Tests on the machinery and transmission lines have already been conducted to identify and remedy faults and glitches.
The company expects Berbice residents to be powered from this new plant from the last week in November. Generation equipment no longer needed to supply Berbice will soon be installed in Demerara to increase power supply.