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Jump-start for long delayed IDB-funded GPL project

Less than one month after Bharat Dindyal was fired from the post of Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Power and Light Inc (GPL), the power company is about to a revive a US$45 million Inter American Development (IDB)-funded project that is geared at improving efficiency.

Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson announced that Colin Forsythe has been appointed Project Coordinator and he would be joined by former Divisional Director of Operations, Elwyn Marshall were Monday, September 7, 2015 expected to assume duties.

Forsythe and Marshall are expected to spearhead work on the stalled IDB project by firstly appointing key personnel.  Patterson said a mere US$300,000 of the project funds has been spent and Guyana had risked losing all of the cash because the money was not used for about three years. “The previous board, despite having been part of the negotiations, was of the view that the executive managers only did not require help so that is what stalled it,” he told a news conference.

Patterson, who has ministerial responsibility for the electricity sector, said the project would see training being provided to executive and senior managers and technical personnel to “ensure that we have revamped, reenergized, repowered GPL.”

Other components of the project include the reduction of losses, partly through electricity theft and transmission and distribution defects and  a pilot project on metering.

GPL is still reeling from the effects of a loss of 10 generating sets during the past six to  eight years- several well ahead of their anticipated shelf-life—according to a performance evaluation that was done on Dindyal’s tenure.

Dindyal was sent packing in mid-August after a video recording surfaced of an altercation between him and his then Deputy, Colin Welch, over the sending on leave of several senior managers. 

Justifying its dismissal in the face of  repeated allegations by the opposition and other prominent voices about ethnic discrimination and the lack of due process, government said its decision to sever ties with Dindyal included the fact that his contract had not been renewed and that he scored very low in a performance evaluation that had been conducted by the previous board of directors under the Chairmanship of Winston Brassington.