Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday remained optimistic that the loan from the U.S. Exim Bank will be secured in 2024 for the hallmark gas-to-energy project being developed at Wales, Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara).
He said too that with the government already funding the project from the national budget, it will go ahead despite protests by various political entities and organisations to halt its development.
“The gas-to-energy project will be built.
“It is a commitment that we made and despite every attempt by Kaieteur News, by Glenn Lall, by everyone else, the APNU to kill this project, it’s not going to succeed,” Dr Jagdeo said on Thursday in response to questions posed by media operatives during his weekly press engagement at the Office of the President.
Guyana is seeking a US$646 million loan from the U.S. Exim Bank to advance the project and Jagdeo is confident that it will be secured in the second quarter of 2024.
The total cost of the project is approximately US$1.8 billion. It promises to transport natural gas from the Liza oilfield to an integrated gas processing facility and once the natural gas liquids and dry gas is delivered to the government at Wales, a 300 megawatts (MW) power plant will use the dry gas to generate electricity for domestic use.
“We have a great working relationship with the U.S. Exim Bank. We’ve had bipartisan support on this loan. You think a few loonies… like Kaieteur News, Glenn Lall or the others who have been trying to block this project; you think that the people who did an assessment of this project in the U.S. are as stupid as they are?” he questioned.
When completed, the multi-million project will significantly reduce the cost of electricity by 50 per cent.
It will also trigger massive economic expansion in the manufacturing and industrial sectors which will, in return, create job opportunities and attract foreign investment while simultaneously facilitating a smooth transition towards renewable energy.
In the 2024 budget, some $80 billion has been allocated to advance this project and its associated infrastructure, including transmission and distribution upgrades to offtake the power.
The government has partnered with ExxonMobil to develop the necessary infrastructure and facilities to transport and process the gas for use in power generation and other applications.
The project is expected to have a life span of 25 years.