GPL upgrade programme in Buxton/Friendship does not include reconfiguring of the network

Dear Editor,

In response to a Letter to the Editor, published in the Stabroek News of Thursday, October 4, 2018 and headlined, ‘GPL should honour promises made to Buxton residents’, the Guyana Power and Light Inc (GPL Inc.) offers the following response.

In an effort to provide context to readers who are unaware of the current project being executed within the Buxton and Friendship communities, permit the company firstly, to provide context in this regard.

GPL Inc’s Power Utility Upgrade Program (PUUP) is an infrastructure investment program funded by the Inter-American Development Bank and the European Union, aimed at rehabilitating 85 priority areas. It encompasses upgrading 830 kilometres of Transmission and Distribution (T&D) Networks and the replacement of approximately 54,000 meters in Regions 3, 4, 5 and 6.

This investment is aimed at improving reliability of service whilst reducing technical and commercial losses.

With regards to the request to GPL for 110 volts electricity supply, the Buxton and Friendship communities are currently receiving a 240 voltage supply of electricity via a two-wire 240 voltage configuration; one live (240v) and one neutral. This voltage supply is not limited to Buxton and Friendship but many other communities along the East Coast of Demerara, which includes but is not limited to Annandale, Vigilance and Melanie.

Mr Cockfield is accurate in his statement that newer housing schemes along the East Coast Demerara are being served via a three wire configuration; two live connections rated for 110 volts and one neutral. Unserved areas such as Sophia and Cummings Park that were energised under the Unserved Areas Electrification Project (UAEP) that was jointly funded by the IDB/GoG/GPL are examples of communities with this type of configuration. This type of configuration also exists in other communities across Demerara, Berbice and Essequibo.

It should be particularly noted, that the scope of the PUUP does not include the re-configuring of the network in the targeted areas currently being supplied with two wire 240v (1 x 240v and one neutral) with a three wire (2 x 110v and one neutral) configuration The scope is limited to the upgrade of the conductors, transformers, poles, associated line hardware, metering interface upgrades and meter replacements.

In addition, should GPL reconfigure the network from a two wire to a three wire supply at a considerable cost, the affected customers will be required to upgrade their internal wiring to the stipulated wiring standard and certified by the Guyana Electrical Inspectorate (GEI), before GPL can proceed to complete the connection.

As it relates to arrears, on Tuesday, October 2, 2018, a joint team comprising of senior GPL/PUUP representatives conducted a community outreach at Buxton/Friendship. One of the many matters ventilated was the past due amounts owed to GPL.

The GPL team outlined a process, which requires customers to visit the Mon Repos or Main Street offices to address outstanding balances and determine a mutual and amicable solution(s) on a case-by-case basis.

GPL Inc remains committed to working with the residents of Buxton and Friendship to resolve all existing issues.

Yours faithfully,

Shevion Alexis Sears

Public Relations Officer

Guyana Power and Light Inc

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