Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson has assured that the second Guyana Power and Light (GPL) submarine cable which was damaged back in June is expected to be restored shortly.A section of the damaged cableThe barge involved in the incidentIn a brief telephone interview with Guyana Times on Friday, the Minister noted that the cable was still being repaired, but two replacement cables have been laid to provide power to the affected villages.The 13.8 kilovolt submarine cable, which rests along the Demerara River near Craig, East Bank Demerara, was dislodged by a barge sailing along the channel.As a result of this incident, West Demerara customers from Vriesland to La Retraite were without electricity while efforts were underway to alternatively power these customers from the Vreed-en-Hoop Substation.Patterson explained, “The cable being repaired carries more than just power. It also has data cables in it for our SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system, so it’s quite an involved process. What we have done is ran two smaller cables to bring over the power.”The alternative cables, according to him, will provide about 12 megawatts of electricity, which means most of the power is being supplied as the damaged one provided about 14MW.“We are going to bury these new ones five metres or about 20 feet below the surface and leave them there as redundancy when the main cable is repaired,” he added.That cable was the second one which was damaged back in June. The first, which links the Vreed-en-Hoop and Kingston power plants, has already been repaired.The routing and laying of the new cable were done with the aid of the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD), Gaico Construction Services and staff from GPL’s Project Management Department, Engineering Services, System Planning and Designs, Network Operations and System Control and Engineering Services departments.MARAD has been given the responsibility of ensuring the safety of the cable from potential damage by oceangoing vessels.GPL deficitAccording to the Finance Ministry’s Mid-Year Report, the power company suffered a massive $4.2 billion deficit which was recorded at the end of June 2019.The report added that this was attributed to a decline in sales collection. It noted that there was a 61 per cent collection rate for Government accounts.Actual billed sales fell below budget by three per cent. “In addition, there was reduced income from investments in treasury bills as well as from services provided by the company. These services include new connections, reconnections, tampering charges and service investigation”.“Total current expenditure amounted to $16.4 billion, $925 million less than the same period in 2018. Fuel costs were $1.4 billion more than budgeted, due to payments made in January 2019 for a fuel shipment received in December 2018, as well as fuel purchased and supplied to Skeldon Energy Inc (SEI)”.