On­go­ing up­grade works to re­duce GPL losses – Di­rec­tor

Stabroek News Sunday - - REGIONAL NEWS -

With the Guyana Power and Light In­cor­po­rated (GPL) fall­ing short of its tar­get for losses last year, Di­vi­sional Di­rec­tor of Loss Re­duc­tion Parsram Per­saud has pro­jected bet­ter re­sults this year due to on­go­ing net­work up­grade works that have al­ready yielded pos­i­tive re­sults.

Per­saud made the dis­clo­sure while pre­sent­ing the sta­tis­tics on loss re­duc­tion at the power com­pany’s an­nual pre­sen­ta­tion of its Op­er­at­ing Stan­dards and Per­for­mance Tar­gets to the Pub­lic Util­i­ties Com­mis­sion (PUC) last month.

The com­pany was only able to con­tain its losses to 29.5% for 2017, as com­pared to its 2016 achieve­ment of 29.2%, which was the same in 2015. Its tar­get for 2017 was 27.6%.

Per­saud, who ex­plained that the 1.9% dif­fer­ence be­tween the tar­get and achieve­ment rep­re­sents a US$2 mil­lion value, said the com­pany’s in­abil­ity to reach its set tar­get was mainly due to the lack of ma­te­ri­als to con­duct its up­grade pro­grammes.

“So, losses con­tinue to be one of our key chal­lenges at GPL. As men­tioned by some of my col­leagues be­fore, we were faced with a num­ber of con­straints in 2017, typ­i­cally with ma­te­ri­als and the short­age of me­ters to re­place our de­fec­tive me­ters and short­age of ca­bles. Those are some of the things that af­fected the work that we had planned in 2017,” Per­saud said.

He ex­plained that the de­lay in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Power Util­ity Up­grade Pro­gramme (PUUP) also af­fected the com­pany’s per­for­mance in achiev­ing the set tar­get.

He noted that the ini­tial sched­ule for the pro­gramme was sup­posed to fea­ture works be­ing car­ried out, in­clud­ing net­work up­grade of over 300 km of sec­ondary net­work as well as meter in­stal­la­tion and re­place­ments but they were un­able to get the planned works started.

“How­ever, this year, we are very op­ti­mistic that we can get a far way in terms of re­duc­ing losses. A lot of things are on our side this par­tic­u­lar year,” Per­saud said, while point­ing out that the power com­pany was able to fix its in­ven­tory is­sue and progress should be made in im­ple­ment­ing the PUUP. He also noted that since the be­gin­ning of the year, the pro­gramme has started and im­prove­ments can be no­ticed in some ar­eas.

“Net­works have al­ready be­gun to be im­proved that started at the end of 2017— some­where late in De­cem­ber. So, we will see that con­tinue this year. So, we will see a re­duc­tion of losses and we are very op­ti­mistic,” Per­saud said, while adding that the 2018 tar­get of 27.1% should be achiev­able when they com­plete all of their works for the year.

He added that there is a re­vised pro­cure­ment pol­icy that en­ables the man­age­ment of GPL to pro­cure ma­te­ri­als faster.

As a re­sult, with the PUUP, some 20,000 old and de­fec­tive me­ters are ex­pected to be re­placed by more tech­no­log­i­cally ad­vanced ones that will help the com­pany iso­late prob­lems.

“We have in­ten­si­fied our in­ves­ti­ga­tion pro­gramme so there is a com­pre­hen­sive field au­dit on all max­i­mum de­mand cus­tomers and small busi­nesses. So we are do­ing much more de­tail in­ves­ti­ga­tions and as a mat­ter of fact we have much more skilled peo­ple to use the soft­ware and in­ter­face with the me­ters so we can in­ter­pret the meter logs which tell us of in­stances of theft and many other things like power qual­ity,” he said, be­fore adding that they also in­tend to do more com­plete site analy­ses for larger cus­tomers.

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