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Govt continues to invest in sustainable energy models -PM

…reiterates support to GPL despite challenges

Prime Minister Mark Phillips

Prime Minister Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips on Thursday reconfirmed Government’s plans to expand the country’s energy portfolio to meet growing needs, and assured of Government’s commitment to support the Guyana Power and Light Inc (GPL) in so doing.
The Prime Minister was speaking during the second energy mixer of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) of Guyana, held at the Marriott Hotel in Georgetown under the theme “Delivering the Energy Benefits: The Transmission and Distribution System.”
According to a social media statement, Phillips explained that several significant short- and long-term investments and initiatives are underway as part of the Government’s broader efforts to bring Guyana into the 21st century. He noted that there needs to be an energy mix that would give Guyana “thrust to enhance energy reliability, efficiency, sustainability, and overall economic development – this is a strategic imperative.”
The US$1.8 billion gas-to-energy project, he noted, would solve the energy problem in a substantial way, as it aims to provide an additional 300 megawatts (MW) of power by the end of 2024.

This gas-to-energy project would see natural gas being piped from offshore operations to where the 300MW power plant and an integrated Natural Gas Liquid (NGL) plant are being constructed at Wales, West Bank Demerara (WBD). That plant aims to reduce the cost of energy by at least 50 per cent through an energy mix, thereby potentially saving Guyana US$150 million on power generation annually.
According to the Prime Minister, there are three critical components of this sizable project: laying a pipeline that would bring gas ashore; building a power plant; and building the transmission and distribution system. He emphasised that upgrading the existing transmission network is crucial for successfully implementing these ambitious projects.
“Over the short, medium, and long term, we will, as a Government, fund numerous projects aimed at greater utilisation of clean and green energy – more solar, more wind, more hydro,” Phillips said, as he noted that this would contribute to cleaner and greener energy use across the nation within the decade.
“By 2030, Guyana aims to produce 500MW of electricity by embracing an energy mix composed predominantly of clean energy sources. Doing so would accommodate the growing demand for electricity while remaining environmentally conscious,” the Prime Minister’s statement read.
Of these renewable energy initiatives, there are plans for Leguan and Wakenaam to have respective 0.6MW and 0.75MW solar PV farms, while Mahdia will have a 0.65MW solar farm completed by 2024.
Further, Phillips confirmed that the Government would continue collaborating with GPL to bring sustainable energy not only to households, but also to industrial and commercial sectors throughout the country.
“GPL has undertaken extensive work on its transmission and distribution system, and launched various initiatives to enhance its overall functionality and efficiency, addressing the historical problems of inadequate maintenance and frequent disruptions,” Phillips has said.
This AmCham Guyana energy mixer has seen a diverse audience of Government officials, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and investors sharing an interest in advancing Guyana’s energy sector.
A question-and-answer segment reportedly followed the presentations, and addressed GPL’s grid management capacity, highlighting plans for a modernised control centre, and strategies to build its human resources capacity. (G13)