‘We’re going to fix it’ – Pres. Ali pleads for citizens’ understanding as GPL expects more power by Christmas

President Dr Irfaan Ali speaking at a recent diaspora engagement in New York. (Photo: Office of the President/September 22,2023)

The ensuing Wales Gas-to-Energy project will add a capacity of 300mw to the system and had the Amaila Falls Hydro Power Project come on stream as anticipated in 2013, there would have been an additional 165mw of power currently available.

That project was blocked by the same APNU+AFC opposition and the PPP/C government has not been able to bring it back on stream yet. Notwithstanding, the commitment remains.

The former government only installed a 5.5mw Hyundai generator in 2018 that failed shortly after and invested in three generators at Garden of Eden for US$50 million with a total capacity of 46.5mw which it never brought on stream.

Currently, the PPP/C government is subsidizing electricity generation by over US$100 million with VAT removed on electricity and the price for fuel moving from US$41 to US$91 per barrel between 2020 and 2023. The corporate tax on fuel is being absorbed by the government.

So what’s the plan?

With new capacity installed in the last three years, GPL has found that peak demand has moved from 110mw to 185mw; the company is generating 10mw below that peak demand.

So in addition to massive investments already made on the maintenance of the neglected transmission and distribution network, the 300MW gas-t0-energy project is being constructed, and a total of 84km of new transmission lines are being installed.

Dr. Ali said that within the coming weeks, the government will seek new expressions of interest for the Amaila Falls Hydro Power Project.

And with the subsidization of electricity and the return of large and once self-generating consumers to the grid, the government will seek to impose a minimal tax as it encourages a return to self-generating during peak hours (between 13:00hrs and 16:00hrs and 18:00hrs and 22:00hrs.)

These along with new installed capacity by December are expected to provide both short-term and long-term relief to citizens.