What’s the true cost of the hydro project?
Guyana is about to embark on a major hydro project costing the Guyanese population some US$840M. That amount represents the cost of setting up the hydro project. We, the owner of this project, have not been told of the full credit terms our government have with the Chinese bank. We don’t know at what interest rate these funds are being borrowed; we don’t know the period of repayment, and we don’t know if we should default on payments what are the penalties attached to the loan. All these factors will influence the true cost of this project and it’s certainly not just US$840M but somewhere over US$1B, if we are to take interest payment into account on the loan.
As owners of this project, the Guyanese populace should be fully informed as to what we are signing up to. It’s the duty of the government and the parliament to enlighten us about project terms especially those most expensive ones
The track record of the government investing our money as agents on our behalf has been less than satisfactory. The sugar plant modernisation program has failed to deliver the benefits touted by its operators; the packaging plant is almost none operational, the Supenaam Stelling has also been a sore point; the access roads to the Amaila falls are yet to be completed and we have already spent a large amount of money with no results. The bond deposited from Hand-in-Hand Insurance has not been collected by our agents (government); the laptop computer program has ran into problems with some computers yet to find the right owners as they have been stolen or unaccounted for. So should we trust this agent (the Government) with our money? Some US$840M at that?
I believe that alternative source of energy is a great thing for Guyana and we should pursue such a path for the future development of our country.
My belief is not in isolation as I know that previous government in Guyana have honed this vision and have tried to deliver same. But guess what, they too failed. The hydro in Region Nine did not return on its investments. That hydro site is now abandoned. I believe there was an attempt in two other regions (this I stand to be corrected) but to date Guyana has no hydro power to boast about.
It would make great sense for us to invest in a smaller project to ensure that we have some experience in delivering such a project to our country. If it goes wrong then we would stand to lose less. Guyana has too many other projects to spend money on than such an enormous sum standing a very real chance of being wasted because of incompetence and lack of experience. Note I have yet to mention leakage in corrupt payments to our agents and their families and friends…but that’s for another day.