At a promotional event hosted by the Giftland Mall on Friday, it was disclosed that, following its recently established partnership with UG, the Mall is exploring the possibility of providing power to the University of Guyana as an alternative source that would replace the ineffective service provided by the Guyana Power & Light (GPL) Limited at the Turkeyen Campus.
The frequent power outages and fluctuating electrical energy that feature on the campus disrupt the education process and damage sensitive equipment. As such, the two entities have announced their ongoing consultations to arrive at an agreement in which Giftland would supply energy through its privately existing source, to facilitate UG with a more stable alternative to the underserved situation that currently obtains.
The two parties have already applied to Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson, who has the relevant jurisdiction over operations of the GPL, requesting that he would utilise the power conferred on him under Section 4 of the Electricity Sector Forum to grant permission to Giftland to supply power to the University of Guyana Turkeyen Campus. Provided that the established terms are agreed upon and approved by the Public Utilities Commission, Giftland would be able to sell electricity to the University of Guyana Turkeyen Campus, thereby eliminating the campus’s reliance on GPL’s frequently fluctuating supply.
Business mogul Roy Beepat, proprietor of the Giftland complex, on Friday gave media operatives information regarding the application to the relevant Ministry and the terms agreed upon with the University. Beepat pointed out: “For the nation’s youths at UG, these blackouts can have a devastating effect on their education. It puts them behind, especially if they are on tight deadlines.” This, the businessman highlighted, was the motivation behind Giftland’s proposal to offer a supply of electricity to UG. Moreover, Beepat noted, several requests regarding collaboration have, in the past, been made to the University of Guyana, but collaboration materialised when Professor Ivelaw Griffith was appointed Vice Chancellor of the University.
The Giftland Chairman disclosed that when authorisation has been obtained from the Public Utilities Commission, negotiations can continue in regard to the rates, followed by implementation of this new undertaking. “This won’t actually affect GPL in any way, apart from taking some of the strain off the interconnections,” Beepat relayed.
The lone power agency will now be able to direct its resources to serving the growing demand in the Guyanese market, and subsequently correcting the glitches which have been occurring in its system for years.
The longstanding business entity assures that this is not a profitable venture, but is an avenue to fulfil its corporate social responsibility. As such, the profits from the sale of electricity to the University of Guyana would be redirected into the realisation of similarly beneficial projects at the institution.
The agreement between Giftland and UG promises a further strengthening of the collaboration, which may possibly see the construction of a dorm, development of sporting facilities, and provision of internship opportunities to students of the University.
This power supply agreement between Giftland and UG comes just one week after the launch of the VIP Business Card, which offers access and discounts to the University students in order that they might benefit from services offered at the business complex.