A Utah-based company and the government of this South American republic will establish a joint power company to replace the run-down Guyana Electricity Corp., a statement said Wednesday.

The Leucadia Power Company of Salt Lake City will buy out 60 percent of the corporation's shares.The decision was reached Friday following weeks of discussions between the company and the government.

The statement did not say exactly when a formal agreement will be signed, but it indicated that final talks are to resume in Georgetown on October,19.

"A large measure of agreement was arrived at between Leucadia and the government with respect to the purpose of the new company, its operational rights and obligations and its composition and character," the release noted.

Guyana, a former British colony, has been plagued by 12-hour blackouts since 1978 due to periodic breakdowns of its mainly steam and gas turbines.

The system collapsed completely at least eight times last year leaving the capital and coast in darkness.

In June, the government also sold 80 percent of Guyana Telecommunication Corporation to the U.S. Virgin Islands-based Atlantic Tele Network and is moving to sell off at least 10 other state firms.

This is one of the major dictates of the country's International Monetary Fund and World Bank-supervised economic recovery program which started in July after a year-long monitoring period.