Aug 10, 2013 News Comments Off on Amaila Hydro project…Sithe Global’s future input in doubt
– Company reportedly pulls out
President of Sithe Global, Brian Kubeck, yesterday maintained that “a public-private partnership of this magnitude requires a national consensus in order for us to proceed further.”
Several hours later there were unconfirmed reports that Sithe Global had pulled out of the Amaila Falls Hydro Electric Project, but there was no confirmation from any official source on any such development.
Kubeck was referring to the fact that the political opposition was divided on the pieces of legislation it had to consider in relation to the venture.
The news from Sithe Global comes following the vote on Thursday morning.
The Alliance for Change (AFC) voted in support, while A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) took an opposing position.
Kaieteur News made contact with Kubeck yesterday and according to the Sithe Global President “We will make an announcement in the papers on Sunday. In the meantime, I will say that our position remains unchanged.”
Kubeck in a statement to the media earlier in the week said, “We can only proceed further if there is a uniform consensus amongst all of PPP, APNU and AFC, communicated via Parliament, that you support this project…Without such consensus, Sithe Global will be forced to withdraw.”
Meanwhile sources within the APNU have indicated that they are unconvinced that the equity partner is ready to pull out, given the investments already made.
Head of State, Donald Ramotar, speaking to this publication last evening, insists that the administration will do what it must in order to ensure the survival of the project.
APNU voted against the amendments following this past week’s debate and according to its financial spokesperson, Carl Greenidge, “if the Private Sector believes that the project is so ironclad, then let it put its money where its mouth is.”
Meanwhile, the Sithe Global President had said that the company cannot continue its development efforts “without the same level of commitment from our partners in Guyana:”
According to Kubeck “It would be our honour to work with Guyana to carry through this important public-private partnership, if we have the collective support of our future partners.”
Kubeck had earlier stated that failing to vote in support of the project would be “simply an acknowledgement that, after US$16M and six years of intense effort by Sithe Global to progress the Project, the country is not prepared to proceed”.
At the time the Sithe Global President said, “the unfortunate consequence is that it would be many years before any similar project could be resurrected and, as such, Guyana would remain saddled with a 19 US cent cost of power and complete exposure to fuel price swings for imported oil.”
At the time it was indicated that “Sithe Global strongly believes that the Project will have lasting and profound benefits for the country by delivering improved electricity reliability and cost savings versus the status quo.”
Sithe Global insists that the project has been vetted by numerous third-party firms and has been determined to be Guyana’s “least cost” power option.
Kubeck claims “bids were sought and received in a transparent and fair process by five international construction firms with the lowest cost contractor, China Railway, chosen. The technical development of the project is done – design drawings supporting the start of construction are complete and have been reviewed by two independent parties (including MWH Global, one of the world’s leading hydropower design firms) in addition to China Railway.”
Kubeck, however, while in consultation with local stakeholders had said that the final designs had not been completed.
This was echoed in Parliament on Thursday morning when APNU’s Carl Greenidge had said “the design for the Hydro Electric Plant is not absolutely finished, neither has the exact location for the plant been determined.” He argued that “there are serious issues to be addressed and you have to set out a manner to compare and contrast what you say.”
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