Press Release

GPL enhancing livelihood across the West Bank of Demerara

18th October 2019

GPL enhancing livelihood across the West Bank of Demerara

Residents rave improved services

Electricity remains one of the most powerful forces in our lives and the demand for a reliable supply of electricity continues to grow rapidly, particularly with the development of new housing schemes and the expansion of businesses.

The Guyana Power and Light Incorporated (GPL) intends to ensure sufficient and available capacity to meet this demand, while at the same time improving the quality of its supply to all customers.

In this regard, the power company has since implemented and executed several new initiatives to bolster its services to new and existing customers.

One such initiative is the installation of a new 13,800 Volts Express Feeder (distribution line) from Vriesland to the Vreed-en-Hoop Power Plant (VEH), a distance of over 16 kilometers. This project was executed in August, in a record breaking four weeks at a cost of $80M.

It has resulted in thousands of residential and commercial customers on the West Bank of Demerara (WBD) benefitting from improved service delivery (voltage quality). Several residents have expressed satisfaction with the upgrade in their communities.

Joseph Gomes from Stanleytown village, said he is happy for the improvement in his village. He stressed that the previous frequent power outages and low voltages, he experienced, caused him discomfort and affected his daily chores.

“I am so happy for the new development in this community, things were very bad with the blackouts and low voltage. We couldn’t even do our house work during the day, sometimes when my wife washing the blackout come on and put a strain on she. But things better now, and we are thankful for that. We even have street lights which are lighting regularly and we happy for that,” Gomes said.

In neighbouring La Grange, A. Curry shared similar sentiments about the electricity situation in her village. She explained that her community is no longer experiencing frequent blackouts and low voltage, particularly since the distribution of smart meters.

Curry said “the electricity really changed in this community. My appliances are getting proper electricity now and things are better. People now getting smart meters so that also help with the voltage cause is less people on the system. Overall things improve.”

Meanwhile, S. Singh from Patentia said that it was a good idea to install a new line in the area to improve electricity distribution. He said “for years we have been experiencing low voltage and a steady blackout. Me glad that them put in the new line, it good and it will make things a lot better for us. So far the blackouts reduce a little.”

Another resident, Nell Thomas from Wales said though there is still room for improvement, he is grateful that electricity distribution in his community is more stable. “We happy because things really improved recently. We not getting a steady blackout and the voltage alright, and I’m happy because I does watch the sports them, and sometimes in the heat of things you does get blackout, but that ease up. They still have more work to do to make things 100 percent better though,” Thomas said.

Other residents from villages including Bagotville and Vriesland also commented on the improvements in their communities.

Prior to the installation of the feeder, power supply to customers on West Bank Demerara was supported with the importation of approximately 3 MW from the Garden-of-Eden (GOE) Power Plant via the Craig to Vriesland submarine cable link. This was inadequate and often resulted in low voltage and power cuts.

This new line will also allow maintenance activities to be carried out with limited interruptions.

Subsequently, this project will see the installation of capacitors and voltage regulators on both feeders in the short term and the construction of a new 69 kV substation at Wales with connecting 69 kV lines to VEH and GOE.

These initiatives will bring further benefits to customers on the West Bank, as well as the wider Demerara Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS).