Promise of stable electricity for Essequibo Coast short-lived
…Region without electricity days after $1.8B power plant commissioned
Residents on the Essequibo Coast, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) are faced once again with constant power outages just one day after the commissioning of a $1.8 billion power plant at Anna Regina.
The multibillion-dollar plant was commissioned by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and other Government officials over the weekend. At the commissioning, the Prime Minister boasted that with the new power plant, there will be stable and reliable flow of electricity.
However, mere hours after the launch, the entire Essequibo Coast was plunged into darkness. At that time, residents thought it was just a changeover but they remained without electricity. On Monday and Tuesday, the situation worsened with the electricity fluctuating all day.
At the commissioning ceremony, Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson told the gathering that the three generators that were installed are new and have a lifespan of over 20 years. He also promised that they will now receive a more stable and reliable flow of electricity.
The long overdue 5.4-megawatt power station was commissioned on Saturday.
In 2017 and 2018, residents living along the Essequibo Coast were plagued by a series of nonstop power outages, which affected persons throughout the region. At the time, residents had said they had lost faith in the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) which they said was incapable of ending their woes.
In 2018, only two of the five standby generators at the Anna Regina Power Station were functional. As such, engineers are appointed to work on a 24-hour shift.
It was related that residents have been affected by this issue, which is a major inconvenience. Additionally, the business community in the region had complained about the significant losses which are incurred, since frozen items thaw and spoil. Further, this publication was told at the time there was a heavy cost attached to running individual standby generators and the high fuel prices were adding to the burden of residents, as well as the wider business community.
In August 2018, the Essequibo Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ECCI) had called on Government to intervene to alleviate the blackout situation since residents, especially the business sector, expressed their fear of losing millions of dollars in cool storage items.
ECCI President, Suean Seewnarayan had told Guyana Times that the commerce in the region was collapsing due to the poor service offered by GPL. She revealed that businesses were dumping products and those who have standby generators are pumping thousands of dollars into fuel and maintenance costs.
The Chamber had said Government was silent on the very important issue.