Guyana and Japan looking to further strengthen bilateral cooperation

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Guyana and Japan are looking to further strengthen bilateral cooperation, particularly in the area of energy.

This was highlighted on Wednesday morning when President David Granger accredited a new non-resident Japanese Ambassador to Guyana. Ambassador Tatsuo Hirayama handed over his letters of credence to the Guyanese Head of State at the Ministry of the Presidency.

The Japanese diplomat, in brief remarks, reflected on the long bilateral relationship and cooperation between the two countries in various areas, especially energy.

“Just last year, a grant agreement valued US$15.5 million was signed between Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Guyana for the project for the “Introduction of Renewable Energy and Improvement of Power System” in Guyana, with the objective of introducing renewable energy to Georgetown and including the power supply system in the city,” Ambassador Hirayama stated.

Meanwhile, President Granger lauded the good bilateral relations the two countries have maintained since establishing diplomatic ties in June 1967. He went on to note too that the Japan-funded energy project was consistent with Guyana’s transition to a ‘Green State’, which would see increased emphasis on the protection of the environment, the preservation of the biodiversity, the promotion of renewable energy generation, and the adoption of practical measures to ensure climate adaptation.

“The generation of renewable energy, consequently, is among our top priorities as we move towards achieving our goal of becoming a green state. As you pointed out, Guyana and Japan signed, in June 2018, a Grant Agreement for The Introduction of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficient Power System. This project is consistent with our country’s Green State Development Strategy,” the President noted.

In June last year, Guyana and Japan signed the financial and technical cooperation agreement for the procurement and installation of energy-saving street lights as well as the enhancement of substation equipment and distribution lines in Georgetown.

The project will also see the installation of a PV system and energy management system at the Caribbean Community (Caricom) Headquarters, Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown.

At the time, Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Inc Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Albert Gordon had told the media that the new system would help the company to reduce the frequent outages.

“Our top priority as we said is to reduce the number of outages and this particular project will help in terms of improving reliability and losses, also improving voltage levels. But it is part of a set of projects we are implementing,” Gordon had said.

By 2023, transmission loss could be reduced to about 1,600,000 kilowatts/year through the provision of substation equipment and distribution lines.

Then Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge commended the timeliness of the contribution by Japan and said it accorded well with the Government’s development trajectory.

During the June 2018 signing ceremony, Japan also donated 4716 LED street lamps from a total of 10,865 to the Public Infrastructure Ministry worth some US$1.3 million.