Amaila failure could shy away In’tl investors – US Ambassador

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US Ambassador, Bent Hardt.
US Ambassador, Bent Hardt.

The U.S embassy in Georgetown has lamented the failure of the Amaila Falls Hydro Project, saying it could shy away investors and make getting future investments in the energy sector tough.

“The demise of this project is likely to diminish Guyana’s future attractiveness to international investors, and make future investments in the energy sector riskier and more costly,” Ambassador Hardt said in an opinion piece sent to the local press.

U.S.-based power developer Sithe Global last week pulled out of the US$858 million hydroelectric generation project, pointing to political fights.

Sithe Global, majority owned by hedge funds managed by investment giant Blackstone Group LP, said political consensus was needed to secure financing.

President Donald Ramotar said the company’s withdrawal from the project could jeopardize a $250 million environment protection deal signed with Norway, from which the government had set aside $80 million toward financing the hydro project.

Ambassador Hardt said that the political battles that enmeshed the project had little to do with the potential of the project to generate cheaper, more reliable, and more environmentally friendly energy for decades to come.

He noted that one of the most critical elements for investors is political stability and reliability over the term of an investment.

“Sadly, the country’s political parties have thus far been unable to come together to support a project that offers all citizens — of all parties — the prospect of lower electricity rates and more reliable energy.”

Hardt said that while the window to prevent such an occurrence is small and closing fast, “we call on all political parties to come together in the national interest to support a project that all parties have long agreed is necessary to boost Guyana’s competitiveness and improve the lives of its people with less expensive and more reliable energy.”

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