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One of the 5MW Thermal Plants at the LEC Bushrod Island location, which is heavily relied on during the dry seasonCites spike in usage, primarily due to power theftThe Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) has issued a statement of apology to its customers for the Load Shedding (rolling brown outs) which they are currently experiencing. The LEC said over the last 15 months the improved stability and reliability of the LEC’s generation and distribution network has led to an overall increased reliance on LEC as the electricity supplier of choice.“This has driven an increase in electricity usage of almost 50% from 15,000kWh in Jan 2018 to 22,000kWh in Feb 2019. Unfortunately much of this growth stems from electricity theft, which is currently costing LEC over US$3 million per month,” the management said.During the raining season this growth would be accommodated from Mt. Coffee, the management said, “however the situation is radically different during the dry season when virtually all generation is provided from our Bushrod plants. This increased energy demand has driven a commensurate increase in demand for fuel oil to run the generators at Bushrod.”The LEC, it said, “requires two kinds of fuel oil, Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) to run the main base load generation, and LFO (Diesel) to run the peaking generators which only run during the short duration peak / heavy demand periods.”“At present LEC is battling two problems, both of which are leading to load shedding: To secure enough HFO to allow it generate full base load until the rainy season; and to find the finance necessary to buy enough Light Fuel Oil (LFO) to run the peaking generators and thereby carry the full load of the system,” the utility provider said.It added, “Through the good offices of the Government of Liberia we hope to resolve the first of these shortly. However, due to the impact of electricity theft, we cannot generate the hundreds of thousands of US Dollars necessary to buy an adequate amount of LFO to run the peaking generators and thereby meet the peak demand.”Consequently, the LEC said it is currently optimizing generation to ration fuel and constrain costs, resulting in load shedding. In the interest of fairness Load Shedding is organized on a rolling basis to spread the impact across all customers. To assist customers in planning their activities, a load shedding schedule will be published on Friday 22nd March.Customers, LEC said, should note the following:Expect to be without supply for periods of 6 – 12 hours.Avoid opening fridge or freezer doors to retain the internal coldAlways treat the electricity system as live; it could be switched back without warning.Switch off and unplug appliances until power is restored.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
European Union Ambassador to Guyana, Jernej Videti?, who was an observer at this year’s Local Government Elections (LGE), says the process was a smooth one and all procedures were well-organised.This was related after he visited some of the polling stations across Guyana to check upon the pace at which ballots were being cast. He noted that he stood as an observer two years ago during the previous LGE, but the method was “excellent” this time around.“We went as observers and we had done it two years ago, so I think compared to what was [done] two years ago, it was even better prepared. We went to five local polling stations and in all the polling stations, the procedures were the same,” theAmbassador of the European Union to Guyana, Jernej VidetičAmbassador said.However, Guyana Times inadvertently published that the Ambassador revealed there were no provision for persons with disabilities to vote, but in actuality, he stated that those persons would have come out in their numbers despite challenges.“The control was there, and it was running smoothly like it should work in a normal democracy. We had a good impression and we also see that disabled people came to vote and they’ve done their best to give them an opportunity to vote. I found it excellent.”Monday saw a low turnout of voters throughout the country and the pace of voting was even slower than expected. The polling stations opened to a sluggish start but after a few hours, the number of voters was constant. Villages like Den Amstel, Hague, Blankenburg, La Jalousie, Windsor Forest, Crane, Best and Vreed-en-Hoop recorded a small turnout, and it was the same on the East Bank at Covent Garden, Providence and Peters Hall. In Berbice and the Essequibo Coast, the situation was similar.Other than that, it was heard that many persons were told that they were not allowed to vote, because their names were not on the registered voters’ list.However, upon checking, they were eligible to vote while others were referred to other polling stations.Concerns also surfaced about the quality of ink used. Throughout the day, voters complained about the concentrated substance being easily washed off and that it was difficult to tell if they had voted or not.The matter also caught the attention of Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo who stated, “I have had numerous reports that it could be easily removed, so what we have asked our polling agents now is to pay particular attention to people who have voted before may attempt to come back in and vote, so that is one safeguard against ink being removed, so we asked our polling agents to look at this.”Upon inquiry, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Public Relations Officer (PRO) Yolanda Ward told media operatives that the Commission had leftover ink from the 2016 LGE and this was reused.