Coach of reigning Red Stripe Premier League champions Arnett Gardens FC, Jerome Waite, says his team is ready for the challenge in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Club Championships in order to move on to the CONCACAF stage.Arnett will depart the island next Sunday for the Dominican Republic where they will participate in Group Four alongside Atletico Pantoja of Dominican Republic, America des Cayes (Haiti) and Notch (Suriname).Waite is already looking forward to the CONCACAF stage, where the club has participated in the past.”Well, first and foremost, we have participated in the CONCACAF round twice, but have not passed the quarter-final stage. Our aim is to win the CFU group stage and qualify for the semi-finals, then be among the top three that will advance to the CONCACAF,” Waite told The Gleaner.”I’m pretty much confident based on our performance in the local Red Stripe Premier League, where the team has done well,” the veteran coach shared.He admitted that he did not know much about the opponents, but he remains optimistic.GIVE THEIR BEST”A lot of the players have not played at this level, but they should give of their best, as doors can be opened for them. We don’t have any info on the teams, but they will know about us, as the Premier League is broadcast in the Caribbean,” he informed.Waite is yet to name his 20-man squad for the tournament, but disclosed that players such as captain Oneil ‘Bigga’ Thompson, Renae Lloyd, Marvin Morgan, Kemal Malcolm, Jason Moore, Vishinul Harris, Dicoy Williams, Ranike Anderson, Damion Hyatt, Peter Harrison, Keneil Hyde will be included.Arnett will play against America des Cayes on March 2, Notch on March 3, and Atletico Pantoja on March 5. All games will be at Estadio OlÌmpico FÈlix S·nchez in Santo Domingo.The 14 teams are divided into four groups, and the winners will advance to the semi-finals.Meanwhile, Montego Bay United, the other Jamaican club that has qualified, will participate in Group Three alongside Central of Trinidad and Tobago and Scholars International of the Cayman Islands.
…to integrate renewable energy on small scaleIn keeping with the times, Power Producers and Distributors Incorporated (PPDI) has embarked on plans to ‘convert’ at least one of its engines in an effort to determine the logistics of introducing renewable energy into the grid.In a brief interview with this publication, PPDI Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Arron Fraser explained that the initiative is a pilot project, but there is the possibility of expansion if success is achieved.“It is a pilot project,” Dr Fraser explained to this publication. “It involves retrofitting the engine. And we have a partner on board.”Back in 2017, PPDI officials had announced that a three- year strategic plan to combine the use of hydropower and associated natural gas to generate electricity was being prepared.Mined from deep beneath the earth’s surface, associated natural gas is composed of methane as well as both hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon gases. Not only is it a fossil fuel, but it is also non-renewable.PPDI CEO, Dr Arron FraserThis plan was to have been executed at the New Kingston and Vreed-en-Hoop power plants, once Guyana starts oil and gas production. Asked about this energy plan, Fraser said this was currently a work in progress.In Guyana, the Guyana Power and Light’s (GPL’s) Demerara interconnected system is fed with power by the PPDI, which replaced Wärtsilä, a company from Finland which for two decades maintained over a dozen engines for the utility company. Energy costs remain a prohibition, however.In an interview with this publication on the sidelines of a workshop last month, Private Sector Commission (PSC) Executive Ramesh Dookhoo shared his thoughts on oil and gas. According to the businessman, the price fluctuations and high cost of fuel prohibits Guyana from being competitive with other countries.“We still have a huge challenge, as a manufacturing country, with the cost for electricity. I would urge the Government to continue to look for sustainable supplies and initiatives in energy. Fluctuations that govern the price of oil affect us and put Guyana in a place where we’re not competitive to export and compete with countries that have cheaper energy,” Dookhoo explained.He expressed need for renewable energy, like hydropower, to be integrated into the system, so that costs can be lowered. He also cited the previous Government’s approach of adjusting the excise tax in order to stabilise prices for consumers.“The way I see it, we either do hydropower or set up other systems; or we will be in the same position ten years from now. There is talk about getting some of the gas here. I don’t know how much it will cost,” Dookhoo declared.“There has been a call by manufacturers to the Government to try and adjust the duties. Most of the diesel prices have gone up tremendously. What the previous Government did was adjust the duties so that the price could be stable and predictable,” he said.According to Dookhoo, this practice seems to have now been abandoned by the current Government. He was, however, hopeful that other ways of reducing the cost of fuel would be pursued.