Multiple benefits from Power Producers and Distributors Inc’s partnership with GPL

Dear Editor,

Please allow Power Producers and Distributors Inc (PPDI) to respond to statements attributed to its operations and maintenance in your letters’ column on the 8th June, 2019.

PPDI hereby seeks to correct certain statements through the following facts:

PPDI is a state-owned entity established in December 2016. It entered into an operations and maintenance agreement with its sister state entity, the Guyana Power and Light Inc, to operate and maintain four of its power plants.

The “Loss of upper management knowledge and proven ability to deliver quality service” that the writer speaks of, is totally misguided and misleading. The operating companies like Wartsila Operations Guyana Inc, are, by and large, autonomous in that regard. The loss of managerial knowledge is a myth; in fact, all the senior managers and technical personnel opted to remain with the state entity instead of Wartsila Operations Guyana Inc. The Wartsila subsidiary in Guyana was the first operations and maintenance company in the global Wartsila portfolio. Noteworthy, the model and way of working for such services was developed and exported to other countries worldwide by Guyanese – the local company was never managed or run by expats except for the first four months of operations.

The decision taken by the government to not renew Wartsila’s Operations and Maintenance Contract mirrors actions taken by other governments and private power producers in the region as in the case of operations in Turks and Caicos, the Dominican Republic, Antigua, and Brazil. Moreover, the decision saves the country several million US dollars in operations and maintenance fees, provides 50 additional jobs for Guyanese and allows unfettered access to our Guyanese engineers who were not always available because of secondments to other power plants in the region.   

The current contract that PPDI has with GPL also provides greater performance guarantees than that which were previously offered by Wartsila. Maybe the letter writer should do some research into the operations of Skeldon Energy Inc and find out what performance guarantees Wartsila is currently giving them and whether they are currently meeting them. You might be very surprised. 

On the issue of “The PPP negotiated ‘List minus 17 percent’ price on all spares”, PPDI wishes to state that there is hard evidence to prove that this discount is a myth. Rather, there were instances of serious overbilling of parts and for other technical services. The local Wartsila operating company had to follow the mandate of their Network company bosses. It must further be pointed out that Wartsila does not manufacture all of the spares used on their equipment, but rather resells under their brand. The management of PPDI has over the last 2.5 years managed to negotiate with major suppliers of Wartsila spare parts and other auxiliary equipment suppliers, long term supply contracts, contracts that have seen significant savings compared with the same parts offered by Wartsila. As insinuated by the letter writer, we are not joining any queues for spares, or substitute parts; rather, all parts are certified quality original parts and maintenance is done on time every time.

In relation to the inability to handle design and construction of large new projects, such as the 300MW natural gas facility desired by ExxonMobil, PPDI is an operations company and does not engage in any design and development of equipment. We certainly have the capacity to be a valuable partner as the current team members of PPDI consists of the same team members Wartsila used. Some members of this technical team have a collective experience of well over 150 years in the electricity sector, nearly 100 years of collective experience on Wartsila plants and equipment; were even used by Wartsila in the Caribbean, South America, Central America and the USA to manage and maintain plants, and even worked on projects where new plants were built and commissioned.

PPDI continues to be a valuable partner to GPL in the delivery of operations and maintenance services. Since 2017, we have invested heavily in training and development of our team members and count over 9,000-man hours of training, both, local and overseas for our technicians and engineers.

What this article has sought to achieve is to discredit the profound decision-making capabilities of Minister Patterson, while embarrassing our local engineers’ ability to get the job done. For this reason, we do urge the author, Mr Robin Singh, to browse through PPDI’s website where all of the company’s facts/information can be found, free of charge to the general public. Website: https://www.ppdi.gy

PPDI also wishes to state our support and solidarity with GPL and their team of engineers who are working to correct present system defects.

Yours faithfully,

Krest Cummings

Public Relations Officer

Ministry of Public Infrastructure

for Team PPDI

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