IDB, China to finance Amaila Falls
Jagdeo says project on track
After a meeting in Washington, President Bharrat Jagdeo announced yesterday that the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the China Development Bank are likely to finance the Amaila Falls hydropower project.
The project is slated to cost over US$500 million and will significantly bring down electricity costs in Guyana and satisfy Jagdeo’s drive for a low carbon economy.
The IDB had arranged a meeting of financiers in Washington, and the President told reporters at his office that the meeting went well and the project seems on track for a mid-2010 start.
He said the equity partner has already committed its share of US$130 million in the project and the government has set aside over US$20 million to undertake preparatory works, such as an access road to the site.
Now, what is left is for the financing arrangements with the IDB and the China Development Bank to be concluded. The Amaila Falls hydro-project is expected to supply 150-megawatts of electricity to the country and this will significantly free up resources used to buy fuel to generate electricity. Guyana’s annual fuel import bill is US$350M.
Five bids were received from interested parties to construct the hydropower plant in November 2008, and these bids were forwarded to the project developers and the equity partner, Sithe Global Power.
Sithe Global Power, LLC, based in New York, is an international development company involved in the construction, acquisition and operation of electric power generation facilities.
The company began as Sithe Energies Inc. in 1968 and has since become one of the largest power producers in the United States. Sithe has developed over 50 power plant projects in nine countries with a capital investment of over US$5B. The company is currently developing the 250MW Bujagali Hydropower Project at Jinga, Uganda.
The Amaila Falls Hydropower Project is just part of a larger effort to revolutionise Guyana’s power generation infrastructure. Also ongoing is a US$39.6M project to upgrade the transmission and distribution (T&D) system, establishing a continuous network from Skeldon, Berbice to Parika, Essequibo, including the East and West Bank Demerara networks.
It will also see the construction of a state-of-the-art control centre at Sophia and will be capable of connecting to the Amalia Falls project once it is completed.