Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman has affirmed that the Amaila Falls Hydro Power project is actually not off the table.
Trotman was at the time answering questions before the Natural Resources committee. Asked about the conflicting statements on hydro, he denied that the project was ever off the table.
But while he noted the project, which was a brainchild of former President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, still has potential, the Minister observed that funding is an issue.
The incumbent APNU/AFC Administration when in Opposition was vehemently against the project, even withholding support from the National Assembly in 2013 for legislation pertaining to the project. The major investor, Sithe Global subsequently pulled out from the US$858M Project, citing a lack of national consensus on the part of the Parliamentary opposition.
Following the current energy woes and the recent request by the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) for US$110 million to assist with an overhaul of their system, former Industry and Commerce Minister Irfaan Ali posited that the Government should seek to invest in building a cleaner and more efficient energy system that will trickle down to the benefit of consumers, which will have a long lasting effect instead of pumping millions of dollars in the GPL which is still facing a myriad of complex issues that have compromised the entity’s reliability and overall financial performance.
Ali also contended that the matter involving GPL now seeking US$110 million points to the bad decision made by Government to abandon the Amaila Falls Hydro Project.
“The Amaila Falls Hydro Project was a long-term solution to our energy requirement in a sustainable and cost-effective manner. By today we would have been enjoying power from Amaila Falls, we would have been enjoying it at much less or far less the cost that consumers are paying today,” he opined.
The Opposition had long called for the reintroduction of the Amaila Falls Hydro Project for a number of important reasons. Opposition Leader Jagdeo had said not only does the scrapping of the project threaten the forest pact agreement with the Kingdom of Norway, which could cause the country to lose out on another US$3 billion in savings, but it would hinder Guyana in its fight to combat climate change.