Even though there are clear benefits to bringing gas to shore from the Liza Phase One Project such as a significant reduction in electricity costs, the project continues to be met with a great deal of skepticism locally and further afield.
Despite the admonishments which have been reported in the daily newspapers, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall recently defended the project which could cost almost US$1B. In his eyes, the benefits of such a project more than underscore why it ought to be brought on board. With this in mind, he pleaded with the naysayers, and Guyanese in general, to avoid “killing the project” before it gets off the ground. Nandlall assured during his latest programme that was streamed via his Facebook page that the PPP/C Government will ensure the relevant studies are done which will ensure the project’s viability.
The Attorney General said, “…Many have criticized the government for this project but let me say, from all the evidence available, it appears that this project will help us reduce our cost of producing energy. Yes, the capital-output (US$600 to US$800M) is huge but when one weighs that against the benefits that would redound to Guyana, it appears to be a feasible project.”
Nandlall added, “The final numbers will come when the requisite studies are done but people are faulting the project from the inception in the very way they did with the Amaila Falls project.”
The Legal Affairs Minister was keen to remind that the former regime, during its time in opposition, had used its one-seat majority to kill that Amaila project. He said this occurred despite the necessary studies proving that the project was sound. Nandlall said he does not want the gas-to-shore project to suffer the same fate.
Nandlall said, “…we don’t want the project to fail the way Amaila did. Yes, the Environmental Impact Assessment will be done along with the necessary geotechnical studies. We are committed to that course, but don’t kill the project from the beginning which is what commentators are doing in the media and in the public domain, as they did with the Amaila project…”
The Minister assured that the government intends to be prudent with all projects it pursues while noting that all risks will be properly considered. He said more information on where the PPP/C is on the gas-to-shore project will be released in due time.