Amaila Falls: President calls for final meeting between Opposition, Gov’t teams

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amaila fallsPresident Donald Ramotar has called for one final meeting between the government and the opposition party – A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) aimed at addressing the issues raised by the Party on the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project.

In a statement issued to the media last evening [Friday August 16], the President said that the outcome of this meeting should be made public.

The APNU refused to support the project based on two reasons: the Amaila Falls project is likely to condemn Guyanese to excessive indebtedness and that it will not provide assurance that the final cost of power to the consumer will be appreciably lower than the current tariff.

In addressing these two concerns, the President in his statement reiterated that Guyana will not incur any debt from the Amaila Falls Hydro project.

“After the meeting, if Mr. Granger and his team agree that both their stated concerns are being met, then Guyana can put the rancour of recent weeks behind us, and forge a strong, unified, national consensus in favour of the Amaila Falls project. Because there is still work to do,” President Ramotar said in his statement.

IDB Due Diligence

According to the President, once there is national consensus behind the Amaila Falls project based on the costs and benefits already communicated publicly, then the IDB will be able to complete their due diligence to publicly validate those costs and benefits.

“The Government of Guyana invited the IDB to carry out due diligence on the Amaila Falls project some years ago, based on the reality that the IDB possesses technical capacity which is not available in Guyana. All of their work is carried out in accordance with their internationally accepted financial, social and environmental safeguards.

Currently, despite years of work, the due diligence cannot be completed because the developer (who is the one spending the vast majority of the money to do the tasks required by the IDB) cannot proceed without national consensus in Guyana.”

President Ramotar stated that once the completion of the IDB’s due diligence and a conclusion that the details underpinning the project are sound; it would enable the Amaila Falls project to go to the IDB Board in October.

The project’s main investor – Sithe Global withdrew its services recently, citing a lack of national consensus on the project. This was as a result of the non – support from the APNU.

Sithe Global had already invested some US$12M in the project.

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