Brazil signals interest in Amaila Falls Hydro Project – VP Jagdeo

An artist’s impression of the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project dam

There has been active interest from Brazil to bring Guyana’s Amaila Falls Hydropower Project (AFHP) into fruition, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo has announced.

Guyana has received proposals from Brazil and other countries for the 165-megawatt hydropower project – a flagship initiative under the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS). The Vice President anticipated that in the near future, Government might go out for another bidding process.

He divulged at Thursday’s press conference, “We’ve now gotten at least two proposals from companies in Brazil to do the hydro, and then some companies out of the US. Soon, you may see us going back out to another [tender] process. But the Brazilians are still very interested in this regard too.”

The project was hindered after China Railway First Group (CRFG), the company that won the contract, had informed Government that it was facing difficulties meeting the contract obligations of a Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) model.

Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

While the company had proposed an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract, Government did not budge and the contract was terminated.

It was reported that one of CRFG’s main stumbling blocks to achieving the terms in the BOOT contract was finance. Government did not opt to move on to the next responsive bidder, since that bid had been at 9.9 cents per kilowatt – significantly more than CRFG.

The AFHP will be based on a Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) model where the company will supply electricity to GPL Inc at a cost not exceeding US$0.07737 per kWh and where the company will provide the entire equity required by the project and undertake all the risks associated with the project.

The revival of the 165-megawatt AFHP was one of the promises made by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic in its manifesto. The project was initiated under the previous PPP/C Administration but was scrapped by the coalition Administration which had controlled the National Assembly by a one-seat Opposition majority.


In speaking about Guyana and Brazil’s longstanding relationship, Vice President Jagdeo indicated that there is still unfinished business regarding talks to integrate economies. This is particularly in relation to Northern Brazil and Guyana.

“We’re hoping [for] Brazil’s involvement particularly at the federal level, because the state of Roraima fully supports efforts at integration. They see their future heavily linked to us, given proximity both for imports and exports. We’ve always had their support but they need the Federal Government to support because it has deeper pockets,” Jagdeo explained.

Governor of Roraima, Antonio Denarium was recently in Guyana, where he supported the possibilities of deepening trade relations with the realised Linden to Mabura road project. With such a connection, agricultural activities and exchanges will also be easily facilitated.

The former President disclosed, “This would help with the soya bean project, corn project, agriculture logistics, moving fertiliser and limestone into northern Brazil because there is a huge demand for it for their agriculture. A huge set of business there will happen.”

At the technical level, Guyana is already making provisions to facilitate trade, where soya and corn seeds can be supplied here and the final produce being exported back to Brazil.

At the federal level, Government is hoping that an agreement can be created to allow for the free movement of seeds.

“We need some federal-level agreement if we start producing seeds. We’re working with a group out of India that is already working in Brazil but they do high-quality seeds. They want to farm the seeds in Brazil to supply our local producers. This is corn and soya seeds with high-yielding varieties. And then, to reexport back into Brazil.”
It was indicated that Brazilian President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is expected to visit Guyana in the future.