Govt assures Private Sector of “dramatic reduction” in energy cost

Govt assures Private Sector of “dramatic reduction” in energy cost


(Guyana Times –

With Guyana on the cusp of massive transformation, the Government has assured the local private sector that it would create a macro-economic environment that is conducive to investments and expansion, including reliable and affordable electricity.

This assurance was given by Senior Minister within the Office of the President, with responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, who was at the time delivering the feature address at the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (GCCI’s) Annual Awards ceremony on Thursday evening.
According to the Finance Minister, the single biggest impediment to value-added manufacturing and processing in Guyana is the cost of energy – something which the PPP/C administration is working to fix.
“[We are] mobilising the gas resource that we have available to land on the coast, and to harness that resource for purposes of electricity generation. That, we anticipate, is to be realised within the next three years or so. When that happens, you can be assured that there will be a dramatic reduction in the cost of energy, which will immediately create opportunities as it relates to value-added processing and production,” he posited.

An artist’s impression of the Amaila Falls Hydro Project

Dr Singh added that Government is working on a number of other initiatives to address issues relating to the competitiveness in energy. Among those is the possibility of reviving the Amaila Falls Hydro project, which the Finance Minister noted could have already been generating cheaper power in Guyana had it not been shelved by the previous APNU/AFC regime.
“We’re relooking and revisiting the possibilities of Amaila Falls being realised… Had that project not been frustrated and derailed, Amaila Falls would today have been generating electricity, and we would have achieved this long-awaited reduction in the cost of energy,” Minister Singh contended.
The Amaila Falls Hydro Project (AFHP) was a brainchild of the previous People’s Progressive Party (PPP) administration, but was shelved soon after the former A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government took office in 2015. The lack of investors was cited.
The PPP has contended that the AFHP could have been generating about 50 per cent more electricity than the entire GPL supply. Indeed, the 165-megawatt project has the potential to eclipse GPL’s current supply of 120 megawatts.
Prime Minister Mark Phillips, who has responsibility for energy, has however said that 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.
Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest), Dr Peter Ramsaroop, has told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that the company is seeking to establish operations in three countries, and has shown a keen interest in Guyana.
During a recent visit to Guyana, Fortescue discussed the harnessing of renewable energy under the Amalia Falls Hydropower Project to produce green-energy products such as ammonia, hydrogen, fertilisers and metals for both the local and foreign markets.
“They are looking to re-enter Guyana in the first quarter (in order to conduct) further studies and development. These projects are large projects; it is not just about the development of the Amaila Falls Project, but it is looking at (a) large-scale operation that requires renewable energy to produce an output. So, it is not a quick fix; it is a fix that has to be well-studied, and they are moving to that next step,” Ramsaroop had noted.
Meanwhile, the PPP/C Government is forging ahead with its gas-to-shore project which will generate close to 200 megawatts.
In an effort to further push the gas-to-shore initiative, the Government had stipulated stiff fines and penalties against flaring of excess natural gas in the Payara Licence it granted to Exxon – something which Exxon has been flagged for doing before in the Stabroek Block, and has recently had to increased “above pilot levels” due to technical issues on the Liza Destiny FPSO.
Exxon itself has said the gas that would be required for the gas-to-shore project is available. Estimates have put the figure required for the gas-to-shore project at 30 to 35 million cubic feet of natural gas.
Previously-released data on Guyana from Norwegian research company Rystad Energy had indicated that a little less than 20 per cent of the 1.8 billion barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) discovered last year was gas. The Haimara discovery made by Exxon last year was found to have 207 feet of high-quality gas condensate sandstone reservoirs. (G8)

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