Guyana could export gas to Brazil, CARICOM & Dominican Republic – Pres Ali

President Dr Irfaan Ali

While the Gas-to-Energy project will play an important role in supplying gas to the domestic market, it also will be a major export revenue earner for Guyana through the supply of gas to neighbouring Brazil, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and even the Dominican Republic.

This was revealed by President Dr Irfaan Ali during the 12th Annual Consultation with Caribbean Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) held in Georgetown on Saturday.

The consultation, which was held at the Marriott Hotel, saw the President lay out Guyana’s ambitions to be a regional supplier of energy.

A depiction of the Gas-to-Energy project at Wales, WBD

When it comes to the Gas-to-Energy Project, President Ali noted that the first pipeline will provide enough gas to meet the needs of Guyana and then some. This is in addition to the work being done to set up the transport and logistics structure.

“In the first pipeline that we’re bringing on stream, the opportunity for propane and butane, cooking gas. That first pipeline will allow us to meet the entire need of Northern Brazil., Guyana, Caricom and half of DR.

“Imagine the type of business opportunities that will be created through transport and logistics, just in that one by-product,” the President further informed the roomful of attendees, including IDB President Ilan Goldfajn.

At present, the GtE Project will see the construction of a 300-megawatt (MW) combined-cycle power plant and a Natural Gas Liquid (NGL) Plant. Only a few days ago, when he addressed the recently-concluded Guyana Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo, President Ali said that there was a possibility of a second NGL plant.

Meanwhile, during his last press conference, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo assured that the Government would constantly look for opportunities to partner with Trinidad and Suriname, two countries with oil and gas production capabilities, which could see unrefined products and gas taking precedence. At the same time, however, he emphasised that affordability was a major factor.

“Energy security in the Region also has to be looked at in the context of affordability and competitiveness. Right now, we’re entitled to several barrels of crude, as part of profit oil. We sell that crude basically through a marketing arrangement that is publicly tendered, at the prices in a particular benchmark,” Jagdeo had said.

“We don’t refine products here. The demand in the Region is for refined products, not crude. Except for Trinidad, which has a refinery. But other countries need refined products. So that excludes everything except the Trinidad refinery. That refinery has been mothballed since 2018 and we don’t know what it would take right now to rehabilitate that.”

The latest update on the project is that the pipeline and transmission will be completed by this year. This will see the power plant and NGL facility being operational by next year when electricity rates could potentially be slashed by 50 per cent. As it is now, electricity demand has been steadily rising. This year alone, demand is projected to peak at 236MW; however, GPL can only generate approximately 180MW s of power.

The scope of Guyana’s GtE project consists of the construction of 225 kilometres of pipeline from the Liza field in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana, where Exxon and its partners are currently producing oil.

It features approximately 200km of a subsea pipeline offshore that will run from Liza Destiny and Liza Unity Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels in the Stabroek Block to the shore. Upon landing on the West Coast Demerara shore, the pipeline would continue for approximately 25km to the NGL Plant at Wales, West Bank Demerara.

In last year’s national budget, the project received a $43.3 billion allocation, in addition to the $24.6 billion injected into the start-up of the transformational project, for construction of the NGL Plant and the 300- MW combined-cycle power plant at Wales, WBD.

This year, a whopping $80 billion was budgeted to advance this project and its associated infrastructure, including transmission and distribution upgrades to offtake the power. As of January, this year, the marine offloading facility has been completed, and 26km of onshore pipelines have been installed.