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The investment of $10.8Billion, by the previous APNU+AFC Coalition Government, to purchase five Wartsila generating sets for the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) is of no benefit to the Guyanese populace and was a move that trapped Guyana’s future development.
This was disclosed by Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar during an appearance on a televised programme on Friday, the Department of Public Information reported. According to Minister Indar, based on recent assessments and interactions with GPL, the process of procuring the energy equipment arrived on record December 4, 2019.
He explained that the contract price is US$50Million but there is another US$2.3Million that GPL must pay to ensure that works are completed at the Garden of Eden site. Minister Indar pointed out that GPL did not have the money to facilitate the project, yet the former Coalition Government went ahead and loaned the cash to the entity; putting a financial strain on the power company.
The first loan was negotiated, and a sum of $1.1Billion was paid in April; followed by a $4.5Billion on May 22, and another transaction of $5Billion on June 22. To date, the items have not arrived in Guyana due to the impact of COVID-19. Based on a correspondent, the generating sets are in Finland and are completed. Nevertheless, according to the subject Minister, even if the generators had arrived on Guyana’s shores, it still would not have served any purpose.
“The issue here is the civil work that is a 10-month contract that will run until April 2021. So, regardless of if the generators are finished now or a month from now, it still cannot be put into use.”
Bringing the truth to the Guyanese people, he said the sensible thing to do, would have been to complete the civil works which would need fewer funds, and the remaining monies could have been used to address pressing issues affecting the country and its people. “To spend this money during a time when the country is literally bankrupt, at a time when there is a pandemic and during the pandemic a lot of workers are jobless, businesses are shut down, people need support and the previous Government did not use their wits at that time to help people but instead spent all of this money on generating sets.”
Noting clearly that the PPP/C Government is cognisant of the importance of reliable electricity, the Junior Public Works Minister posited, “there were other means and methods that the [PPP/C] Government is looking to generate electricity.”