Work afoot to end blackouts

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Minister of State, Joseph Harmon

THE Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MPI) is working assiduously to bring relief to residents of the Essequibo Coast, Region Two, as well as Bartica, Region Seven, following the recent spate of blackouts there.Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, informed the media on Friday that MPI Minister David Patterson is currently in the process of procuring new generation units for both areas. He said the blackouts, which affected Demerara, Essequibo Coast and Bartica, resulted from problems experienced by the Guyana Power and Light Incorporated (GPL) in relation to its maintenance schedule and transmission and distribution networks.

“The Minister of Public Infrastructure gave Cabinet timelines for the rectification of the problems; specifically, it was stated that new generation units have already been procured for Bartica and the Essequibo Coast,” Harmon informed.

He noted that Minister Patterson has been mandated by Cabinet to give residents of the affected areas regular updates on the situation and the time frame within which the problem would be addressed.

He said, too, that the MPI is vigorously working in pursuit of a plan to achieve power generation from renewable sources in the near future.
“The problem with the Essequibo Coast is that they have not been converted from the 50 hertz to 60 hertz, and the majority of the equipment that is available is 60 hertz equipment. What that means is there has to be a conversion, and that conversion is an expensive exercise; and therefore the previous administration ran away from it, but we are going to confront it.”

The Minister of State disclosed that Government is currently looking to secure 50 hertz equipment, and is not only looking locally to source the equipment, but regionally. “We will find a solution to the blackout situation for the people of the Essequibo Coast as we will for the people of all Guyana,” the Minister of State assured.

At Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, Harmon said, the use of renewable sources of energy was discussed, and the Minister of Public Infrastructure is expected to release a report on the matter in a few days’ time.