In reacting to Sithe Global pulling out of Guyana’s Amaila Falls Hydropower Project, Prime Minister (PM) Samuel Hinds today [Saturday, August 10] told reporters in Berbice, Region 5, that he has no ‘hard feelings’ against the company for arriving at such a decision.
On Friday, the company pulled out as an investor, citing a lack of national consensus on the part of the Parliamentary opposition. Sithe Global invested some US$16M in the project.
When questioned about the issue today, the Prime Minister said that he was advised that the company has withdrawn from the project.
“I hold nothing against Sithe and I don’t think it is a matter of Sithe saying beforehand that look, ‘if the whole country doesn’t come together, we are going to pull out’, I think that it is a very rational consideration from the side of the investor that if you’re putting so much effort into a particular place and so much money and the prospects for the people in the country coming together and be supportive is something of concern, so I think it is a salutary lesson for us as a nation.
Prime Minister Hinds said it is a very serious situation and that it is a great loss for Guyana and for himself, since he has been working on the hydropower project since 1996.
Now that the US Company is no longer investing in the US$858M project, the Prime Minister explained that government will now have to salvage what is left of it.
“There is loss involved….a loss of 5 – 10 percent of the project would be involved…we would now have to give some thought into the possibilities of salvaging what there is…Sithe has withdrawn, I greatly regret….I have no hard feelings against them even though it is a great loss to me,” Prime Minister Hinds told reporters.
On Thursday, August 8, the National Assembly passed the legislation relating to the Project, but without the support of the main opposition – A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).
At a recent consultation at the conference center, President of Sithe Global Brian Kubeck called on the parliamentary opposition to support the project.
However, while the minority opposition – the Alliance for Change voted in favour of the Amaila Bills in the National Assembly, APNU parliamentarians did not.
During a brief statement at State House on Friday, President Ramotar did not confirm that the company pulled out of the project. Instead, he told some media personnel that government is doing the best it can to save the project as they are still in talks with the officials of Sithe Global.
The government has spent more than US$12 million to build a road to access the hydropower site.