The Private Sector Commission [PSC] is urging politicians to work together regardless of time to ensure the smooth passage of the required legislation before July 30, in order to move ahead with Amaila Falls Project.
The Amelia Falls Hydroelectric Project has reached the stage where two critical pieces of legislation require Parliamentary approval for the advancement of the project and obtain IDB Board approval for the IDB portion of project funding.
This includes a motion to increase the debt ceiling of the Guarantee of Loans (Public Corporations and Companies) Act and, an amendment to the Hydro-Electric Power (Amendment) Bill 2013
In a press statement issued to the media today, the PSC stated, “The latter piece of legislation which creates a protected area for biodiversity conservation is a prerequisite for IDB Board approval of the project. July 30 is we understand the deadline by which final project documentation must be available for submission ahead of the October meeting of the Board.”
“The Private Sector Commission wishes to stress the critical importance of moving the Amaila Falls project forward as swiftly as possible. Competitive energy pricing is essential to attract new investment in the economy particular for diversification and value added industries that will reduce dependence on the vagaries of commodity priced exports such as sugar, gold and bauxite.”
According to the PSC, with rising fossil fuel prices, alternative, less expensive, renewable energy sources such as Hydroelectricity is crucial to the survival of many businesses especially those in the manufacturing sector where growth is stymied by existing energy prices.
The PSC stated that if the project does not go ahead this year the cost of attempting it in the future would rise significantly and potential investors in other areas for major investment would be unwilling to take investment risks.
“In addition to these consequences, all other large public-private partnerships projects would be put at risk since its failure would lead to a lack of confidence in the country’s ability to realize these projects.”
At this stage, APNU is unsure if they will support the motion and amendment during Thursday’s sitting of the National Assembly, while the AFC has categorically stated that they will not support it.