[www.inewsguyana.com] – Finance Minister, Winston Jordan has revealed that the spotlight is once more being place on the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project, as a study to determine its viability is being conducted.
This is after Jordan in Parliament earlier this year stated that the Government would not be pursuing the project since it “would be criminal” to do so. At a Guyana Manufacturers Association (GMSA) event on Wednesday, November 18, the Finance Minister revealed that the Government is keen on clean energy and Amaila Falls was once again on the radar with some keen interest from Norway.
“I wish to announce that the government is in discussions with Norway to procure yet another review of this project. Norway seems keen to finance an independent review to, once and for all, pronounce on the viability or non-viability of the project,” he stated.
In his 2015 budget presentation in the National Assembly on August 10, Jordan said that it is not only irresponsible, but “a downright criminal act of deception were we to proceed with Amaila Falls.”
He told the House that investigations conducted by the new government revealed that the Guyana Power and Light Company would be required to make annual payments amounting to US$130M to the operators of the facility.
This he said will total US$2.6B over the 20 year period, according to the power purchase agreement and does not include Guyana’s contribution of at least US$160M comprising $45M for road, $80M through equity and $US45M that will have to be taken from the Inter -American Development Bank (IDB).
“It will be delusional to suggest that GPL has the competence to handle such a financial burden. The GPL is known to have a poor operational, financial and technical capability. The Company suffers from a high energy and technical losses…it would require not only tariff increases but guarantees that taxpayers, through the treasury will have to provide to meet its obligations,” Jordan told the National Assembly.
Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo told a news conference on August 11 that those examining the project are clueless.
“I believe that they are duping President Granger; I believe that they are duping him because you have a few people who have been examining the project economics that are clueless…you don’t have to be an economist to understand what this project means to Guyana and what we will lose if we don’t proceed with it,” Jagdeo had said.