An additional $5 billion has gained approval in the National Assembly to further support the groundbreaking Wales gas-to-energy initiative.
In yesterday’s session of the National Assembly, Ashni Singh, the Senior Minister in the Office of the President responsible for Finance, presented the request for additional funding on behalf of the government. However, this proposal encountered a series of inquiries from the parliamentary opposition.
Opposition Member of Parliament (MP), Volda Lawrence inquired, “…can the minister provide the details that make up this figure? Also, can he state whether this funding is coming from the natural resources fund or from other sources?”
Minister Singh responded, explaining that, “This particular intervention is funded out of the consolidated fund. And so I would hesitate necessarily to tie it to any particular source I would say it’s funded out of and from the consolidated fund.”
At the onset of this year, the Gas-to-Energy project received an allocation of US$43.3 million in the National Budget. Dr. Singh elaborated that the predominant purpose of the allocated $5 billion would be to facilitate the establishment of the transmission and distribution network integral to this project.
Minister Singh emphasized that, while certain contracts were granted in the preceding year and earlier this year, certain components of the project for local suppliers remained inadequately addressed.
In July, Kalpataru Projects International Limited (KPIL), an Indian enterprise, successfully secured the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract worth US$159.9 million. This contract involves constructing the transmission lines and substations required for disseminating the generated power from the upcoming Wales Gas-to-Energy project.
Minister Singh elaborated, “What this amount represents sir, is what we anticipate would be the additional resources needed given the pace at which these various components are progressing and payments that we anticipate will fall due. This represents now, the latest estimates of what we will require for the totality of the project.”
Opposition MP Volda Lawrence challenged the Minister’s assertion regarding the project’s swift advancement by demanding an update on the status of the various project components. The Minister in response committed to engaging in further deliberations at a later time.
Previously, the Guyana Standard reported that the gas-powered plant would connect to a pipeline receiving gas from the Liza Destiny and Liza Unity floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessels being operated by US oil giant, ExxonMobil. Construction of this pipeline is managed by Exxon’s local affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL). While the EEPGL originally estimated the pipeline’s cost at US$1.3 billion, it noted that the figure may escalate pending the finalization of essential contracts and the sum was later increased to US$2 billion.
Anticipated outcomes of the gas-to-energy project encompass a projected 50 percent reduction in the nation’s electricity expenses and heightened competitiveness within other industries.