…on gas power
Now that we in the Caribbean are moving closer to legalising ganja, we’ve got to be on the lookout for some Government flunkies jumping the gun and puffing on spliffs while pontificating!! Case in point is Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, who keeps making statements that clearly aren’t grounded in reality.
Remember him promising the new Demerara Harbour Bridge by 2020?? Everyone had a good snicker at that, since that would’ve given him only 2 years. And unless he was planning on another floating pontoon structure, he was clearly delusional, or high!! Well after the Chinese Ambassador derided his plans for a drawbridge type of Bridge as “so 19th century”, he’s back to the drawing boards!!
Anyhow, he’s promising us a 200MW gas-fired generator — obviously to placate a restive populace whom he’d promised “no blackouts!” two years ago, but who still experience blackouts at a level not seen (pun intended!) since the first PNC iteration!! So what’s this hot air about gas-based power? Patterson says he plans to use the excess gas Exxon will produce as a by-product from its oil production – and which contractually belongs to Guyana.
Now, what’s Exxon ACTUALLY been saying? Firstly, that it’s not drilling into any GAS FIELDS, but OIL FIELDS which have some associated gas coming up with it. Secondly, once it separates this gas in its FPSO, it has first dibs on using as much as it wants to operate the facility. Thirdly, it’ll be using whatever remaining gas to pump back into the oil fields to push out as much oil as possible. It makes the not unreasonable point that more oil means more revenues for Guyana!!
So what to make from Patterson’s gaseous effusions? Well, over a year ago, Trotman said Exxon said there’d be an excess of 50 million cubic feet of natural gas daily, and this would be used to fuel a 200MW generator – to run an alumina plant!! Well, that WAS LAST YEAR. This year? Exxon hasn’t confirmed any excess gas of that magnitude.
But even if there were, there are some questions that Patterson studiously avoids answering: What’s the cost of constructing and maintaining the 150-mile pipeline to bring the gas ashore? What’s the cost of the plant to convert it into LPG for storage purposes? And then the cost of the plant to reconvert it back to gas? Then what about the cost of the actual combined cycle power plant (CCPP)…this can range from US$200 million to US$400 million.
But most pertinently, what will be the cost of the transmission lines to move this 200MW into the national grid and into the homes of consumers?
Inquiring (un-stoned) minds want to know!!
…on medical supply
If there’s anything that shows this Government don’t give a damn about what people think, it’s their blatant corruption in the supply of medical supplies – even as their own people report massive countrywide shortages that are unleashing death on the poor and powerless. First, of course, was the $600+ million contract to ANSA McAL for which there’s never been any explanation. Then there was the quarter-billion-dollar bottom house for storing non-existent pharma!
Now comes news about a sole-sourced contract for $367 million in medical supplies from an individual in NY who’d been identified as a PNC financier two years ago, when there was a scandal in the supply of fertiliser! It’s rather pathetic there’s been no PNC soul searching on sole sourcing!! OK… these people are contemptuous of the general populace…but do they think the media will roll over and play dead?
There was only the gentlest of raps on the knuckles for the previous pharma indiscretions and corrupt practices.
Let’s make sure, dear reader, at least someone goes to jail this time!!
…on Williams’ “third term”
In the three-way fight for the PNC Chairmanship, how come no one’s protesting that Basil Williams is pursuing a “Third Term”?
If democracy – according to the CCJ – forbids this practice, isn’t the PNC democratic?