Govt’s cost-cutting energy projects will attract more foreign investments – Go-Invest CEO

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Dr Peter Ramsaroop

With the excitement brought on by the string of petroleum discoveries offshore Guyana, the country is already a coveted investment destination.

President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali plans to make the environment even more attractive to foreign direct investors.

The Government intends to add some 500 megawatts of new power, using the gas-to-energy and Amaila Falls hydropower projects, and several small-scale renewable energy projects, before the end of this term. The projects are intended to cut the cost of power by half and improve the reliability of the electricity supply to businesses and households.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Office for Investment (Go-Invest), Dr. Peter Ramsaroop, said President Ali’s vision for the reduction of energy costs in Guyana is probably one of the most exciting projects that will be undertaken over the next few years.

“When I sit in this office and investors come in, some of them want to do largescale operations. We have had people come in and talk about a glass factory. You know, we have the best silica sand in this part of the region. You need cheaper energy to do that. So those investors, knowing that cheaper energy will be available in Guyana… will start planning out those types of investments.”

Many products which Guyana buys now with foreign exchange, could be easily produced here, when the energy cost is lowered, Dr. Ramsaroop explained.

“From an economic standpoint, you can justify it. From a consumer standpoint, you can justify it. And from an investment standpoint, you can justify it.”

“It changes our landscape. It changes our wealth. It’s creation of wealth for our population. That’s what the President wants.”

The Go-Invest Chief expressed concerns about persons who opposed the operationalisation of the large-scale energy projects government intends to implement, since the current cost of energy could hinder investments.

Serving as Head of Go-Invest since last October, Dr. Ramsaroop has had a front row seat to the concerns of prospective foreign investors, and finds it critical for the government to operationalise projects that will cut the cost of power.

“If it’s costing me $1,000 to do a bottle of pepper sauce in Trinidad, and it’s costing me $2,000 to do a bottle of pepper sauce in Guyana, I can never compete.”

Dr. Ramsaroop said the expansion of the energy mix will lend to the government’s wider strategy for Guyana’s development. The government is continuously working to improve the ease of doing business, showing investors that local markets are ripe for their entry. This would create thousands of jobs, in line with the PPP/C Government’s manifesto promise, of opening avenues for persons to provide for their families. [Extracted and Modified from DPI]