By Shikema Dey
Guyana’s proposed gas-to-shore project at Wales on the West Bank of Demerara is expected to cost roughly US$900 million, Winston Brassington, the head of the task force looking into the viability of the project said on Monday.
The project would utilise associated gas from ExxonMobil’s Liza Phase One project in the Stabroek Block, which has been in operation since December 2019.
The cost and other pertinent details on the project were revealed by Brassington during a briefing with publishers and editors from the various media entities in Guyana at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.
There, Brassington explained that the cost covers the entire project; between US$570 – $630 million for the offshore pipeline and “riser”; $80 – $100 million for the onshore pipeline; $120 million for the gas plant and between $40 – $50 million for infrastructure.
And this cost was stated as provided by ExxonMobil, Brassington explained.
“Now these are all the limits on cost as provided by Exxon. Once all of the engineering and studies have been completed, this will all go to tender and the final cost will be provided once the project is tendered,” Brassington added.
After questions were raised about the project’s feasibility and the fast pace at which it was moving, Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo reported that four studies would be conducted before moving to the construction phase of the project.
Those are an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), a Lidar study, along with Geotechnical and Geophysical studies. One reoccurring bone of contention was the location of the onshore facilities, Wales, as it was not the initial location where the pipeline was expected to land.
The previous David Granger-led administration had pinpointed Greenfield, Mahaica on the East Coast of Demerara as the point where the pipeline would land, however, this plan was scrapped when the government took office in August 2020.
The Gas To Shore (GTS) Task Force Head explained that the Wales location was studied “extensively” before being selected as the most “viable option.”
“Over 20 different locations were identified and as many criteria to select the location. By the time we came to the table last year with Exxon, Exxon had narrowed the location down to Ogle and West Coast. After reviewing this further, the decision was taken for the location to be Wales.
“Now, this location was guided by a number of considerations, the low risk of flooding, relatively low cost of land, the suitability for the plant development, the location away from population centers and the ability to construct,” he explained.
The government has touted a significant reduction in electricity costs as one of the most crucial benefits to be had from the gas-to-shore project.
According to Brassington, the gas-to-shore project will “create significant investment” when it comes on stream with an intended timeline of 2024.