A New and United Guyana (ANUG) said that it will support the advancement of the former regime, People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) ‘s vision to implement the Amaila Falls Hydro Project. This is according to the party’s recently-launched manifesto.
Under its Energy Security programme, ANUG said that it will actively pursue Guyana’s development of its hydropower resources as a priority of the country’s energy policy. The Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) incorporated the development of the Amaila Falls Hydro-Electric Project as a key strategic component towards ensuring the sustainability of Guyana’s energy supply. This will be established within the next five years, ANUG said.
The project was initiated under the PPP/C, but was scrapped by the David Granger-led administration after the PPP/C was voted out of office in May 2015. The PPP/C has said on several occasions, that the project, if it fully realised, could generate about 50% more electricity than the entire Guyana Power and Light (GPL). The project ran into trouble, specifically problems with the access roads to the Amaila Falls dam site in Region Eight. The roads collapsed in many parts and the contractor was fired. Costs ran from US$15M to US$40M. The US$900M-plus tagged for the 165 megawatts project was said to be too costly, with mounting criticisms over the technical readiness of the GPL, and corruption allegations.
ANUG seems to have faith that the project will deliver. In fact, the party said that it will “transform Guyana into a country that meets all of its national demand for electric energy from renewable sources by completing the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project”.
The party noted that while it knows it will not win the March 2 General and Regional Elections, its mission is to prevent a government majority in the National Assembly, and to get the two major political parties to work together.
ANUG said that it will also aid in the implementation of the Deep-Water Harbour, the new Demerara River Bridge; the Corentyne River Bridge to Suriname; the Lethem/Brazil Road Corridor; sustainable Urban Transport; and the expansion of the road network throughout Guyana.
While ANUG is in support of the project, another newcomer to the electoral scene, Change Guyana (CG) is not convinced that the project is the answer. The party’s presidential candidate, Robert Badal, said this morning that the project should not even be a priority.
“Well, I’ve said that before and I’ll say it again: Amaila Falls is not our priority, and should not be a priority of any government…The cost of bringing the power, alone, with the transmission lines will incur losses of more than 7% of 65 miles. The investment costs $2B. The maintenance of that transmission – high maintenance cost! And we have droughts, there will be no electricity,” he said.
Badal posited, instead, that GPL’s power generation apparatuses be modified to accommodate the use Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). This conversion will cost 10% of the $2B ($200M), he said.