Last Updated on Monday, 7 March 2022, 23:44 by Denis Chabrol
The state-owned Guyana Power and Light Inc (GPL) on Monday said the Russia-Ukraine war has triggered a sharp spike in the price of fuel, resulting in monthly operational expenses being GY$4.5 billion compared to GY$3 billion in revenues.
“As we witness these developments from a safe distance, the effects have already reached our shores and by extension, the Company,” GPL said.
The Brent crude oil price on Tuesday soared to US$139.13 per barrel, the highest in 14 years, while GPL said its landed cost of fuel was US$140 per barrel on Monday.
Although the power company painted a gloomy picture of its financials – 3,700 barrels of fuel per day at a cost of GY$111.5 million- and described the situation as “extremely challenging and unsustainable position”, there was no clear indication that the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) would be asked to approve an increase in electricity bills. “This financially challenging position cannot be sustained at current fuel prices,” GPL said.
GPL said the increase in the cost of landed fuel has prompted GPL to use every dollar it collects to meet its operating expenditure.
GPL also did not announce an increase in power outages to conserve fuel consumption but in its statement it noted that “every kilowatt-hour of electricity not generated would reduce the Company’s fuel costs and by extension the overall operating costs.”
According to GPL, “given this extremely challenging and unsustainable position, the Company is imploring all customers to practice energy conservation, as we work together to manage the Company’s expenses during this extremely difficult period.”