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…..plans to power Paramakatoi abandoned
The Irfaan Ali Administration has budgeted $80M for the continuation of the Kato Hydro Power Project – a 150kW hydropower initiative, which was developed under the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Administration.
Prime Minister Mark Phillips made the disclosure on Tuesday in response to a series of questions posed by APNU+AFC Member of Parliament, David Patterson during the consideration of the 2021 Budget Estimates in the Committee of Supply.
When the project is completed, Kato, a village located in Potaro-Siparuni District, will stand out as the first Indigenous village and only community within the country to be powered by 100% renewable energy. Funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), through a grant under its Sustainable Energy Program, the project, which is estimated to cost a total of $470M will ensure a 120V Distribution Network along with a 13.8KV Transmission Network.
The APNU+AFC Government had intended to have the electricity generated power cluster centres such as government buildings and households within Kato as well as neighbouring villages.
However, when MP Patterson enquired whether the distribution network will extend to Paramakatoi, Prime Minister Phillips responded in the negative.
The Prime Minister told the Committee of Supply, chaired by the Speaker Manzoor Nadir in his capacity as Chairman, that the plan to extend the distribution network to Paramakatoi was abandoned approximately two years ago.
But Patterson, who served as Minister of Public Infrastructure under the APNU+AFC Government, told the Committee that such was not the case.
It was noted that when completed, residents of Kato will be charged $54 per kilowatt hour for the supply of electricity.
Kato aside, the Prime Minister, while being grilled by MP Patterson, further disclosed that $13M has been budgeted for the procurement of a generator set for Mahdia Power and Light Incorporated, and two other gen sets for Port Kaituma and Karasabai at the costs of $15M and $8M respectively.
Meanwhile, in responding to a question posed by Deputy Speaker, Lenox Shuman, the Prime Minister informed the Committee that $15M has been budgeted for the upgrade of the Distribution Network.