With Guyana on the brink of massive transformation, the Government has assured the local private sector that it would create a macroeconomic environment conducive to investments and expansion, including reliable and affordable electricity.
This assurance was given by a senior Minister in the President’s Office, with responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, who was then delivering the feature address at the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce (GCCI) Annual Awards ceremony on Thursday evening.
According to the Finance Minister, the single biggest barrier to manufacturing and processing value-added in Guyana is the cost of energy – something the PPP / C administration is working to fix.
“[We are] use the gas resource we have available to land on the coast, and harness that resource for electricity generation. We anticipate that this will be realized within the next three years. When that happens, you can be sure that there will be a dramatic reduction in the cost of energy, which will create immediate opportunities as it relates to processing and value-added generation, ”he said.
Dr Singh added that the Government is working on a number of other initiatives to address energy competitiveness issues. Among those are the possibility of reviving the Amaila Falls Hydro project, which the Finance Minister noted could have been cheaper power generation in Guyana had it not been shelved by the previous APNU / AFC regime.
“We are revisiting and revisiting the possibilities of Amaila Falls being realized … Had that project not been frustrated and derailed, Amaila Falls today would have been generating electricity, and we would have achieve this long-awaited reduction in the cost of energy, ”Minister Singh argued.
The Amaila Falls Hydro Project (AFHP) was the brainchild of the previous People’s Progressive Party (PPP) administration, but was shelved shortly after the former A-Government for National Unity / Alliance for Change (APNU / AFC) came to power in 2015. Government came. quoted a lack of investors.
The PPP has argued that the AFHP could have been generating about 50 percent more electricity than the entire LPG supply. Indeed, the 165-megawatt project has the potential to plug a current GPL supply of 120 megawatts.
However, Prime Minister Mark Phillips, who has responsibility for energy, has said that the Government intends to complete the AFHP. In fact, it was reported earlier this month that Fortescue (FMG), an Australian company and a global leader in the iron ore industry, is seeking to explore renewable energy opportunities in Guyana, including in the Amaila Falls project.
The Chief Executive Officer of Guyana Investment Office (GO-Invest), Dr Peter Ramsaroop, has told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that the company is trying to set up operations in three countries, and has shown a keen interest in Guyana.
During a recent visit to Guyana, Fortescue discussed harnessing renewable energy under the Amalia Falls Hydropower Project to produce green energy products such as ammonia, hydrogen, fertilizers and metals for the local and foreign markets.
“They are looking to rejoin Guyana in the first quarter (in order to carry out) further studies and development. These projects are big projects; it is not just about developing the Amaila Waterfall Project, but is looking at (a) a large-scale operation that requires renewable energy to produce output. Therefore, it is not a quick fix; it’s a solution that needs to be well studied, and they’re moving to that next step, ”Ramsaroop noted.
In the meantime, the PPP / C Government is moving ahead with its onshore gas project which will generate nearly 200 megawatts.
In an effort to push the gas initiative further, the Government had set out fines and severe penalties against excessive natural gas flares in the Payara License it had granted to Exxon – something that Exxon has received attention for doing. in the Stabroek Block, and has recently had to rise “above pilot levels” due to technical issues on Liza Destiny’s FPSO.
Exxon itself has said that the gas needed for the onshore gas project is available. Estimates have meant that the required figure for the onshore gas project is 30 to 35 million cubic feet of natural gas.
Previously released data on Guyana by Norwegian research firm Rystad Energy indicated that just under 20 percent of the 1.8 billion barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) discovered last year were gas. A Haimara discovery made by Exxon last year was found to have 207 feet of high-quality gas condensation sandstone reservoirs. (G8)