The political opposition has raised concerns about the transparency of the Government regarding the Wales Gas-to-Energy project, laying accusations that it is withholding crucial information despite repeated inquiries.
During a press conference held by the Office of the Leader of the Opposition today, Economic and Youth Policy Advisor, Elson Low, highlighted a significant issue: the inflation of the project’s initial cost. Originally stated at US$910 million, it has now surged to US$2.2 billion, a substantial increase that has raised eyebrows.
Opposition Member of Parliament and Former Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, had initially highlighted the inflation noting that it was 150 percent higher than the initial cost which is “way off mark,” according to him. The opposition had requested further studies on the project last year, but their request was denied by the government.
Low asserted that the additional cost could be attributed to the government’s decision to relocate the project to Wales without a comprehensive study, stressing that the Opposition has long sought answers about the project’s feasibility without much success.
The project’s mission is to provide Guyana with cleaner, more affordable energy by 2025, utilizing gas from the Liza field resource. The gas will be transported via a pipeline to an integrated gas processing facility and power plant in Wales Estate, Region Three with Exxon’s local affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Limited (EEPGL) responsible for the pipeline’s construction.
Various studies, including an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), were conducted to assess and mitigate potential environmental, social, and health effects. The EIA received approval from the Environmental Protection Agency in 2022.
The heart of the project involves laying approximately 190 kilometers of pipeline, set to be completed by 2024. This initiative includes the construction of a pipeline from the Liza Phase 1 and Phase 2 floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessels to an onshore natural gas liquids processing plant. It also involves the creation of a 225 km 12″ pipeline designed to transport a guaranteed minimum of 50 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of natural gas from offshore Guyana to the Wales Development Authority.
The anticipated outcomes of the gas-to-energy project are a projected 50 percent reduction in the nation’s electricity expenses and increased competitiveness in other industries.