GPL currently serves 227,000 consumers with peak demand of 186MW – CEO tells special meeting

…says by end of July 230MW will become available on national grid

Prime Minister Mark Phillips

Prime Minister, Brigadier (Retired) Mark Phillips, who holds responsibility for the nation’s energy sector, on Thursday convened a special meeting with parliamentary committee members, Private Sector representatives and executives of the Guyana Power and Light Corporation (GPL).
The main objective of the meeting was for the GPL’s executives to provide a comprehensive update on the company’s current capacity and its short- to long-term measures for reliable energy supply.
Acting GPL Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kesh Nandlall reported that the company’s customer base grew from around 140,000 in 2008 to over 227,000 currently, with total annual gross generation increasing from 600 million megawatt-hours to 1.2 billion megawatt-hours and the peak demand growing from 73.5 megawatts (MW) to 186.4.
To meet rising demand, according to Nandlall, GPL is making efforts to increase its generation capacity to address the current peak demand of 180MW as of April 2024.

Officials at the specially-convened meeting

He pointed out that to sustain system stability, the company has to maintain a spinning reserve of 14MW, which requires an availability of 194MW at the current peak demand.
He stated that currently, the Demerara Berbice Interconnected System has an available capacity of 177 megawatts, including 20 megawatts from the Columbia Plant, which has a total capacity of 28.9 megawatts.
Once fully operational, this plant will operate at 85 per cent capacity by the end of April. GPL’s capacity will be further boosted with the 36MW net capacity power ship that will come online at Everton, Berbice, in May.
These additions will bring approximately 218MW of firm generation capacity.
Additionally, it is expected that in May, a 6.9MW generation unit will be added, and in July 2024, a 5.5MW generation unit will come online at Kingston after maintenance, making an estimated total of 230.4MW available to GPL.
Minister within the Public Works Ministry, Deodat Indar, in his remarks, highlighted the Government’s commitment and explained that the power ship that was recently leased will provide a total capacity of 36MW for two years.
He also noted that GPL will pay the leasing company UCI a fee of 6.62 US cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) as a monthly charter fee for the power ship and a monthly Operations and Maintenace (O&M) fee of 0.98 US cents per kWh, based on the electricity generated.
Indar reiterated that tariffs from the utility company would not increase, thereby protecting the Guyanese public from additional financial burdens.
Based on demand estimates, the Government plans to procure an additional 30-40 megawatts by the end of 2024. Additionally, the Gas-to-Energy Project will add another 300MW in two phases by the end of 2025.
Meanwhile, members of the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) parliamentary Opposition were absent from the meeting, including the current Chairman of the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Economic Services, Shurwayne Holder, who requested the meeting.