Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday projected that Guyanese will save about US$100 million (or about GY $21 billion) each year when electricity rates are cut in half after the Wales gas-to-energy project becomes operational.
Jagdeo, at a press conference on Thursday at the Office of the President in Georgetown, said this single project represents a “major movement forward” for Guyana.
“The people of this country will save over US$100 million per annum because of the cut in electricity prices by 50 percent.
“Over a 10-year period, Guyanese would pay US$1 billion less in electricity bills,” the Vice President explained.
A total of $80 billion is budgeted separately to advance the flagship 300 megawatt (MW) gas-to-energy project per the 2024 National Budget presented on Monday by Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh.
Through this project, natural gas produced in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana will be brought onshore to fire a power plant at Wales, producing cheaper energy.
Works at the project have already started and Jagdeo previously said the project should cost about US$1.7 billion overall. When operational, the Wales project should see electricity generated at a cost of about five cents per kilowatt hour. The cheaper cost to produce the electricity means that it can then be sold at a cheaper rate.
Comparatively, most consumers currently pay about 30 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity.
Aside from producing cheaper electricity, the project is expected to facilitate the production of cooking gas and possibly, other products for sale. Jagdeo said this means Guyana will be able to benefit more from this project.
Jagdeo spoke about this project as he took on comments made about the massive $1.146 trillion national budget presented on Monday.
He acknowledged that the budget is indeed capital intensive but defended that decision, stating that the government is investing in projects that are needed and will provide long term benefits to Guyanese.
“The capital expenditure is focused on building productive capacity for future growth in the non-oil sector and also to bring greater comfort to people.
“Again, you will see significant investments in roads, bridges and other economic infrastructure,” Jagdeo said.
Using the example of community roads, the Vice President said about $100 billion was been allocated just for that. And that will result in about 2,600 to 3,000 roads built in communities all across the country.
For Jagdeo, ventures like that help to provide enormous benefits to people.