The status of our power sector remains a matter of national concern

Dear Editor,

I respectfully refer to Mr. Patterson’s letter in your April 3rd edition of this newspaper, which warrants a factual response.

For clarity, I will categorize my response to Mr. Patterson under the two important and pertinent headings of Transmission and Distribution, and Generation.


Mr. Patterson has asserted that 63MWs of new generation representing an increase of 50% of generating capacity was acquired under the Coalition Government during its 2015 – 2020 term of office.  Within this 60.7MWs of major generating capacity was acquired and installed at:

  • Canefield                   5.5MWs         2018
  • Anna Regina             5.4MWs         2018
  • Bartica                       3.3MWs         2019
  • Garden of Eden         46.5MWs       2021

In Mr Patterson’s attempt to claim these acquisitions as successes under the Coalition Government, he cunningly chose to omit the fact the Coalition Government was not instrumental in providing financing for generation at Canefield, Anna Regina and Bartica. These acquisitions were financed from GPL’s cash resources as a direct result of the significant reduction in World Market Fuel prices from mid-2015 through to mid-2017. Readers may recall benefitting from a ten percent (10%) fuel rebate (reduction in electricity charges) that was introduced under the President Donald Ramotar’s PPP Government in March 2015.

It is important for Readers to note that despite the passing of the No Confidence Motion against the Coalition Government on December 21, 2018, The Coalition Government proceeded to illegally embark on cash withdrawals from the National Treasury. One of these illegal withdrawals was the financing of the 46.5MW generation at Garden of Eden. Readers should further note that the PPP Government led by our Honourable President Dr. Irfaan Ali worked assiduously with the management of GPL to realize commercial operation of this Generating Plant in October 2021.

Transmission and Distribution

Mr. Patterson continued to laud the achievements of the Coalition Government during its time in office citing kilometres of new conductors, conductor upgrades, transformer replacements, new service installations and meter replacements.

Mr. Patterson again attempted to cunningly mislead Readers by omitting the fact that the projects executed by the Program Execution Unit of GPL were financed by the US$64M Public Utility Upgrade Programme (PUUP). The Administrative Agreement for the PUUP was signed by the then Honourable Minister of Finance Dr. Ashni Singh and the Inter-American Development Bank on October 10, 2014.  The Programme Execution Unit was established in December 2014 and execution of activities subsequently followed and delivered rehabilitation of 630km of the distribution network, the installation of 414 transformers and 41,313 AMI capable meters with upgraded electricity service connections over the period December 2016 to October 2021.  GPL also utilized internal financial resources resulting from the significant reduction in World Market Fuel prices to augment the efforts of the PUUP.

Mr. Editor, the importance of this factual response is to highlight the unwavering vision of the PPP/C Government under the leadership of President Donald Ramotar, which continues under the present PPP/C Government led by the Honourable Dr. Irfaan Ali. This has been evidenced by the significant investments in major energy projects such and the 300MW Gas-to-Power Plant at Wales, the 230kV Transmission Network, the new National Control Centre, the 28.9MW Power Plant at Columbia and the 33MW Solar PV Program for Berbice, Essequibo and Linden. Contracts were signed for the Berbice and Essequibo solar projects on March 26, 2024.  Furthermore, despite the steep increases in World Market fuel price over recent years, the present PPP/C Government has provided GPL with the necessary financial assistance and ensured that electricity tariffs are not increased. It is my fervent wish that the facts presented in my response dispel the inaccurate statements made by Mr. Patterson, who appears to be on an early campaign trail.

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