PPP pledges to bring back Amaila hydro project
The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is banking on the Amaila Falls Hydropower project to solve the electricity woes of the country and has indicated it will put the project back on the table if it wins the impending general elections.
“Our plan is resuming discussions on Amaila, immediately starting to move forward on that project,” Bharrat Jagdeo, General Secretary of the PPP and Opposition Leader stated at a press conference Thursday at his Church Street, Georgetown office.
The hydropower project which was set to produce 165 Megawatts of power, was launched in 2009 but in 2013, its major investor, Sithe Global Inc. pulled out due to lack of consensus in Parliament.
In 2014, Norway, under its climate partnership with Guyana transferred US$80M to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to fund the project.
However, after assuming office in 2015, the current Government in partnership with Norway decided to conduct “an objective and facts-based” assessment of the project and subsequently, terminated the project.
Jagdeo said, “the plan was to bring in the hydropower which would have bring in 160 Megawatts of renewable power in the system, so immediately we would have had new capacity which should have been in place by mid-2017.”
The party will now be forced to start afresh with the project since only a road to the falls was completed at the time.
Given that this will take some years to reach fruition, the Opposition Leader said his party will continue to use fossil fuel to efficiently end blackouts in the interim.
This will be followed by a medium-term plan to set up a natural gas power plant from the resources from the oil and gas industry, after which the hydro project will come into play.
In July 2018, the Government announced that Norway has agreed to release US$37.2 million from the US$80M set aside for the hydro project and would put it into solar and other renewable energy projects in Guyana.
In June of this year, Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson announced that the Norwegian Government has approved the transfer of the entire US$80M to other renewable energy projects.