Compulsory acquisition of some lands now needed for gas-to-energy project – Jagdeo

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The government had long pursued consensual agreements with landowners from Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) in the path of its gas-to-shore project and with the negotiations winding down, some agreements are to be signed as early as this weekend.

Notwithstanding, some landowners have not found consensus with the negotiations led by Attorney General Anil Nandlall. As a consequence, Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo told reporters at a press conference on Thursday that some of the lands will have to be acquired by the state through enforced means.

“Starting this weekend, we will be signing agreements with a number of land owners who will receive compensation shortly,” Jagdeo said.

“There may be a few people who do not agree with negotiations so the land will be compulsorily acquired if they don’t agree with negotiations,” The Vice President added.

The landowners are required to give up their lands in order to facilitate the pipelines of the gas-to-shore project.

There are laws that provide for the state to take back land and utilise it for public purposes, such as projects that will benefit the nation.

But the government had said it was not interested in using the Doctrine of Eminent Domain to seize lands using any form of force or appropriating mechanisms.

The path that has to be cleared for the pipelines is in the vicinity of Nouvelle Flanders, West Coast Demerara, to Wales, West Bank Demerara.

Once the lands are acquired, Jagdeo says the project will proceed.

Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo during a press conference at Office of the President (Photo: June 21. 2022)

“The right of way will be ready soon for the project. Right now, it is no humbug to the advancement of the project,” Jagdeo added.

Nandlall had said previously that the government wanted to secure the lands through consensual agreements with all landowners.

“As a government, we pledge to ensure that we work with every single landowner to arrive at a consensual position, respecting their proprietary interest, respecting the value of their land, ensuring that they are adequately and properly compensated, and, most importantly, ensure that we arrive at consensual positions,” Nandlall had said.

It was for this reason that the law was changed to make the State responsible and not investors for recovering private lands from citizens for developmental projects in the oil and gas sector.

The gas-to-shore project, which is pegged at more than US$1 billion, will feature approximately 220 kilometres of a subsea pipeline offshore from the Liza Destiny and Liza Unity Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels in the Stabroek Block to onshore.

Upon landing on the West Coast Demerara shore, the pipeline will continue for approximately 25 kilometres to the Natural Gas Liquid (NGL) plant to be constructed at Wales. The pipeline would be 12 inches in diameter and is expected to transport some 50 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) of dry gas to the NGL Plant, but has the capacity to push as much 120 mmscfd.

The main feature of the gas-to-shore initiative is a power plant that will generate 250 to 300 megawatts of power using natural gas from offshore, which will significantly reduce the cost of electricity in Guyana.

The aim is to deliver rich gas by the end of 2024 for the power plant while the NGL facility is slated to be online by 2025.

The gas-to-shore project, which has a 25-year lifespan, is expected to employ up to 800 workers during the peak construction stage, as well as some 40 full-time workers during the operations stage, and another 50 workers during the decommissioning stage.

 

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