New Forest to get electricity for 1st time by July – Finance Minister assures residents

– as Govt moves aggressively to electrify remote, unserved areas

Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh

As Government continues its multi-pronged approach to expanding energy infrastructure across the country, and especially to unserved and remote areas, Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh on Saturday announced that Government would be providing electricity to New Forest in East Canje, Region Six.
This is the first time that community would be receiving electricity through the Guyana Power and Light Company (GPL), and fruition of this promise is expected by July of this year. This development follows community engagements between Minister Singh and the residents of New Forest, during which the lack of electricity was raised.
This is in keeping with President Ali’s directive that all communities that are near the national grid and have a sufficient population must be provided with electricity.
Minister Singh outlined that the necessary infrastructure would shortly be put in place in the area to facilitate electricity to the community.
In addition to ensuring that unserved remote communities receive electricity, Government has also been reiterating its commitment to the cause of advancing renewable energy resources through the provision of solar panel units to various riverine and remote areas in the country, including those in the hinterland.
In fact, through support of the Indian Exim (Export-Import) Bank, Government has already concluded a project and has been distributing household solar units to take solar electricity to 30,000 homes. The administration has pointed out that solar energy is playing an important role in achieving energy inclusivity, with Dr. Singh re-emphasizing that the Government is open to exploring various renewable energy resources.
He also reiterated the Government’s commitment and focus on ensuring that the administration achieves all of its goals in relation to its Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), as contained in its manifesto.
Renewable energy is a key aspect of Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Agenda, and the Government intends to utilize its access to low-carbon development energy resources (solar, hydro, wind, biomass, and natural gas) as a means of decoupling its economic growth from using fossil fuels for electricity. This would ensure that the rising demand is met and greenhouse gas emissions are kept low.
With Guyana’s economy growing at a rapid pace and the critical need for electricity to cater to the increasing demands of the country’s growing domestic, manufacturing, and new industries, the Government has been working aggressively on putting the infrastructure in place and bringing immediate relief to citizens.
Government, through GPL, recently signed a contract with UCC Holdings for a power ship to be deployed to Guyana. The power ship is docked at Everton in East Berbice, Region Six, and is generating its maximum capacity, adding 36 megawatts (MW) of electricity to the national grid. The ship consists of two engines, each possessing 18MW of power. It arrived in Georgetown on May 1.
Beyond the near-term interventions, works have been advanced on the construction of the 300MW Gas-to-Energy Project within the Wales Development Zone, and the administration is also working to advance the 165MW Amaila Falls Hydropower project and other mini hydro projects in various areas.
These and other alternative energy investments would reduce our energy costs by 50 percent, reliably and adequately meet the energy demands of our expanding economy, and unlock the potential of the manufacturing sector.