Australian investors eye ‘green’ energy

Australian investors eye ‘green’ energy


–  discuss harvesting renewable energy for green products By Navendra Seoraj

GUYANA’S nascent oil and gas sector has served as a magnet for this nation, attracting major investors from across a wide spectrum, but, a recent visit to the country by a group of investors from a world-renowned iron ore company, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (FMG), has re-emphasised the country’s potential to harness and utilise renewable energy.
The world, over the past decade, has seen an incremental shift to the use of renewable energy, which is defined as energy that is collected from renewable resources that are naturally replenished on a human timescale, including carbon neutral sources like sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat.

An artist’s impression of the Amaila Falls Hydropower facility

Guyana’s expansive water resources and tropical climate make the country a hub for production of renewable energy.

It is for this reason that a team from Australia’s FMG led by the company’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO), Julie Shuttleworth, visited Guyana on Friday to discuss projects related to the nation’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).

In June 2009, the then Government of Guyana launched the LCDS, which aimed to transform Guyana’s economy on to a low-carbon, sustainable development trajectory while simultaneously combating climate change.

The LCDS was geared at protecting and maintaining the forests in an effort to reduce global carbon emissions and, at the same time, attract payments from developed countries for the climate services that the forests provide to the world.

A critical programme under the LCDS was the Amaila Falls Hydro Project, which has attracted the attention of the team from Australia. The Amaila Falls Hydro project was initially designed as a 165-megawatt facility.

The Guyana Chronicle had reported that the project is expected to cost just under US$1 billion and will be able to generate 165 megawatts of stable and reliable electricity for 11 solid months of the year, with the additional month during the dry season being used for scheduled maintenance.

This publication was told that the Australian company is looking to harvest renewable energy in order to facilitate new green industry products such as ammonia, hydrogen, fertilizers and metals for both local and foreign markets.


Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat; Foreign Secretary, Robert Persaud; and Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Office for Investment, Dr. Peter Ramsaroop, engaging investors from Fortescue

Should the company move ahead with plans to invest here, a project relative to its aim would run into millions of United States dollars.
The company’s intentions were shared with Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat; Foreign Secretary at the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Robert Persaud; and Chief Investment Officer of the Guyana Office for Investment (Go-Invest), Dr. Peter Ramsaroop.

The international media had reported last month that FMG has committed over US$1 billion to its Fortescue Future Industries business, which is aiming to produce 235 Gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy generation to support green hydrogen, ammonia and metals production.
The company is a global leader in the iron ore industry, recognised for its culture, innovation and industry-leading development of world class infrastructure and mining assets in the Pilbara, Western Australia.

Through its intended investment, the company is aiming to de-carbonise the steelmaking industry in order to protect its iron ore revenue stream in a world rapidly moving to meet its climate commitments.

Bloomberg Green had reported that the world financed $282 billion of renewable capacity in 2019.
According to the report, onshore and offshore wind power led the way with $138 billion followed by solar with $131 billion.

A historical analysis, cited by Bloomberg Green, shows that renewable energy drew more than $2.6 trillion in investments from 2010 to 2019.
It was said that building new wind or solar capacity now costs less than adding the equivalent in coal or gas plants in two-thirds of the world.
Energy and electricity, particularly from a renewable source, are undoubtedly critical elements to the growth of an economy and the welfare of people, as they catalyse advancement on all fronts.

The Government, after reviewing the nation’s energy mix, has crafted a strategy which would move Guyana towards energy efficiency, said Vice-President, Bharrat Jagdeo, during a recent press briefing.

Guyana’s current energy policy seeks to ensure that stable, reliable and affordable energy is provided to all persons in Guyana within an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable framework.

The benefits which would accrue to the country from this project alone are immense, but Jagdeo said Guyana would save millions of dollars more, through the entire revised energy mix.

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