GCCI wants Gov’t, Opposition to move forward with Amaila Falls Project
The President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) is of the view that the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project should still move ahead providing that government and opposition could meet a consensus on the issue. He is convinced that the project is what the county needs to improve the manufacturing sector.
Vishnu Doerga in an exclusive interview with News Room on Friday said solutions like the Amaila falls hydropower project are needed in Guyana for a very long time. His comment came in relation to the recent Norwegian consultant report and recommendations on the contentious project.
“Based on the report and we are still analyzing, we do believe that the location, in particular, is one that is one of the likely ones to be able to generate power that we need, However the manner in which it was done, the design as the report points out has weaknesses, the good thing about this is to let us quickly learn these weaknesses, address what needs to be addressed and move the process forward, its really not gonna help rehashing over what happen in the past, the report is very clear on that” Doerga said.
He said the position of the Chamber will not change when it comes to the need for the project “and we have been calling for that, for the government and the opposition to work and not just this particular issue, on many issue facing Guyana because without that sitting at the table and analyzing what needs to be done and plotting a way forward, we always gonna end up with the blame game and I think Guyanese are tired of the blame game.”
Doerga said what is needed at this point is a plan moving forward on whether Government will either use the same or another likely location as a power generator in the very near future.
He says if such a plan is not in place, then there is no need for talks about adding value or diversification in the manufacturing sector because electricity is needed to push the industry.
“Without lowering the cost of energy it’s difficult to do value added…we do need power that is available abundantly and at a lower cost in order for us to be able to take on many commodities and start preserving them and presenting them in better packaging.”
Guyana has nearly every resource needed to expand the local manufacturing industry said the GCCI President.
Ever since the Amaila falls hydropower project was announced by the previous administration, it received much criticism from the now government. At the same time, there were many who lauded the project including civil society and diplomatic community.
The position of the GCCI mirrors that of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) who for years has joined the call to have consensus on the project.
In August 2013, American company Sithe Global pulled out as a major investor of the Amaila Falls project, citing lack of political consensus and there was no shift in the position of the country’s then main opposition party, APNU.
Today, that position still remains as the party continues to highlight the negatives of the proposed project and is yet to give a clear answer on the possibilities of tweaking it or scrapping the idea of using Amaila Falls.