With Guyana on the cusp of massive transitions, the government has reassured the local private sector of creating a macroeconomic environment conducive to investments and expansion including reliable and affordable electricity.
This assurance was given by a senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, who was then delivering the feature address at the annual Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) 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 resources 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 the processing and production of added value, ”he said.
Going forward, Dr Singh added that the government is also working on a number of other initiatives to address energy competitiveness issues.
This includes 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 frustrating and derailed, Amaila Falls today would have been generating electricity and we would have achieved this long-awaited reduction in the cost of energy, ”Minister Singh argues.
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.
PPP has argued that the AFHP could have been generating about 50 percent more electricity than the entire GPL 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.