New company takes over management of GPL stations from Wärtsilä

A new company, Power Producer and Distribution Inc., has taken over the management of the supply stations of the Guyana Power and Light Inc (GPL).

According to Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson, the company, which was established late last year, assumed management of the stations with effect from January 1st, 2017, taking over from Wärtsilä, which had been retained for over two decades.

Speaking at the Ministry of Public Infrastructure’s 2016 performance review on Wednesday, Patterson said the new company was fortunately able to retain all of the local Wärtsilä employees, who will be augmented with other workers that have returned from overseas.

“From January 1st the company has been in full control of the Wärtsilä engines. This, as I said, affords the ministry and government a unique opportunity at expanding its services,” he said, while pointing out that the headquarters of the company will be held in the same building used by Wärtsilä.

“…And GPL will have a contract similar or on better terms that existed between the two [Wärtsilä and GPL]. The services are the same, the training mechanisms will have been enhanced and the maintenance schedules will be enhanced,” Patterson added.

In the face of concerns over Wärtsilä’s exit last year, GPL Board Chairman Robert Badal told Stabroek News that the company’s services in other areas will still be needed.

“Wärtsilä will continue, like other suppliers. We are a long-term partner because there are a number of other services that Wärtsilä provides, in the area of the overhaul of our gensets, supplying the technology, maintenance, consultancy. So, Wärtsilä will still continue to provide support to GPL,” he added.

Ramon Gaskin, former Chairman of the former Guyana Electricity Corporation (GEC), which had preceded GPL and under whose tenure Wärtsilä’s service was first retained in 1994, had warned last year that the decision against retaining Wärtsilä could be detrimental to Guyanese and holds the prospect of taking Guyana back to days plagued by lengthy blackouts.

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