GPL expansion deal moving ahead

The final contract for the US$40M project for the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) to expand its transmission and distribution systems in Demerara and Berbice is expected to be negotiated in October, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GPL Bharrat Dindyal says.

According to a release from GINA, Dindyal said that a high-level team from China is expected to arrive in Guyana by October 12 and that following negotiations, the outline of the design works will be done. “The CEO disclosed that the team submitted a project proposal with a two year duration deadline focusing on the Demerara/Berbice interconnection, new substations and a state of the art control centre at Sophia,” the release said. The project is expected to provide a more reliable and affordable electricity supply while improving the livelihood of the population and making local industry more competitive.

According to the release, “the plans for Berbice include integrating the power link from Skeldon to the Number 53 substation on the Corentyne coast which, when complete, will link Number 53 to the Onverwagt Station on the West Coast of Berbice and from Onverwagt to the Sophia substation which, by that time, would already be interconnected to the Kingston Plant.”

GPL also proposes to construct two new substations, one at Mahaica and another at the lower part of the coast. The power company also proposes to construct a new substation at Diamond on the East Bank of Demerara.

Meanwhile, the existing Edinburgh substation in West Demerara will be equipped with a supply of electricity of a better quality and it will also be linked to the Vreed-en-Hoop substation boosted by power coming from the new Kingston power plant, GINA stated.

The release noted that the project has its genesis in August 2008, when President Bharrat Jagdeo during a visit to China held a meeting with Li Ruogu, Governor of the Import-Export Bank (Exim-Bank) of China. At this meeting, Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh signed at Memorandum of Under-standing with the Governor to facilitate financial support by the bank to further modernize the power sector in Guyana.

This MOU preceded the signing of a framework agreement which will enable the Government of Guyana to access a Chinese Govern-ment Concessional Loan of approximately US $40 million to finance the development and expansion of the GPL Transmission and Distribution system.

“Upon approval of this proposed project, GPL will develop and expand its Transmission and Distribution system with the construction of 110 km of single circuit, 69 KV overhead transmission lines, and approximately 1.8 km of 69 kilovolt submarine cable; seven new 6/13.8 KV sub stations;  the expansion and upgrading of two existing 69/13.8 KV sub-stations; and installation of a fibre optic network and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system for tele-metering and protection,” the release stated.

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