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Guyana: Gov’t promises no increase in electricity bills

April 20, 2024

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – Government has assured consumers, reeling from electricity blackouts that there will be no increase in electricity charges during the period of the agreement signed between the Guyana Power and Light Company (GPL) for the rental of a power ship that will supply some 36 megawatts of power to the national grid.

The power ship will be located at Everton, Berbice, and is expected to be fully operational by May 8, 2024.

“There will be no increase in the price of electricity because of this rental. The government, at about GUY$44 or GUY$50 (One Guyana dollar=US$0.008 cents) per kilowatt hour, is already subsidising the power to people, businesses etc,” Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo said.

He told his weekly news conference that government would absorb any additional costs stemming from the rental.

“It is a large sum of money that we use to keep the price of electricity fixed. Since we got into office, we have kept it fixed, in spite of the increase. So, there shall be no increase in the price.”

GPL signed a contract with Qatar-based Urbacon Concessions Investments, W.L.L (UCI) for the rental of the floating power plant for two years.

Earlier this week, President Irfaan Ali said that among the challenges faced by GPL are increased demand and the lack of capacity.

A government statement said that the temporary arrangement will be in place for two years, essentially until the transformative gas-to-energy power plant comes on stream in 2025.

It said GPL has already paid a mobilisation fee of one million US dollars to rent the ship and in a statement issued on Thursday confirmed that it will pay US$6.62 per kilowatt hour as a monthly charter fee for the ship, and a maintenance fee of US$0.98 per kWh, based on electricity generated.

The announcement by Jagdeo and GPL comes after the main opposition people’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) called for details about the agreement and whether consumers would have to pay more for electricity due to the purchase of 17 second-hand generators last year, with an output of 28.9 megawatts, for US$27 million.

The government and the opposition A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) have been trading blame over which administration was responsible for the state of the electricity sector.

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