Last week, we began a discussion on the article published in the New York Times on 20 July 2018 under the caption “The $20 Billion Question for Guyana”. It was written by Mr. Clifford Krauss, national energy business correspondent based in Texas, USA, following a brief visit to Guyana. We had identified nine observations that the reporter made in the article that are worthy of some commentary. So far, we dealt with two items. Today, we discuss the remaining seven observations.
3. The power grid is so unreliable that blackouts are a regular plague in the city, while in much of the countryside there is no electricity at all.
While the first part of Mr. Krauss’s sentence is a fairly accurate assessment of the state of affairs of the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Inc., the situation is somewhat better, compared with the past. In its 2012 Annual report (latest publicly available), GPL stated that 31.7 percent of the power generated was lost in technical and non-technical means, down from 40.39 percent in 2005. In terms of financial performance, GPL recorded an accumulated deficit of $12.987 billion and its net worth was a mere $8.450 billion when all liabilities are taken into account. This was despite the massive sums that the Government and the Inter-American Development Bank had provided over the years to rehabilitate and maintain the power company’s infrastructure. Where do we go from here?….