The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government will be reintroducing the hydropower project in a bid to slash energy costs in Guyana by as much as 60 percent. This was according to the Guyana’s President, Dr Irfaan Ali, during a virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Private Sector Commission (PSC), on Monday.
Dr Ali said that in increasing business competitiveness in Guyana, the high cost of energy must be addressed. The private sector has indeed been calling for cheaper energy throughout the years. When oil was discovered back in 2015, it was a breakthrough for the private sector with many clamoring for a local refinery to provide cheaper and adequate energy for industries. Those calls became muffled when a study conducted by an overseas company found that such an undertaking was not feasible.
Months later, a businessman held a conference calling for local businesses to get onboard to open a refinery somewhere in the mining town of Linden. The status of that enterprise could not be ascertained by this publication.
The PPP/C’s plan to resuscitate the Amaila Falls Project follows intense criticisms by other sections of society following the notorious “Road of Amaila Falls Project”, which saw millions of dollars going to a contractor for works he never completed. Nevertheless, leaders of the party have always sought to talk-up the project as a viable energy solution for Guyana.
The former regime, on the other hand, shelved the project when it got into power in 2015, but in 2016 committed to Guyana becoming 100 percent dependent on renewable energy by 2025. This commitment was made by former President David Granger at the inking of the Paris Agreement. It is still uncertain if the current regime will honour this obligation.
Dr Ali said today that PPP/C government is committed to bringing back the hydropower project and the rolling out of a renewable energy programme for the hinterland and riverain communities.
“So, we’re committing to have the hydro project back on the agenda [that] is supported by a natural gas facility, and also [an] alternative energy programme for the hinterland and riverain communities. We’ve already spoken to the Indian government for a US$10M loan to start work in the hinterland community. The objective here is to bring down the cost of energy, in three years’ time, by almost 60 percent. So, we must have a net surplus of energy; enough energy to develop a proper manufacturing and processing center whilst we bring down that cost of energy,” he said.