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Oct 15, 2013 News
Vice Chairman of the Alliance for Change (AFC), Moses Nagamootoo, believes that the recent graphic publication of a dried up Amaila Falls, illustrates that the ruling regime had been duped and in turn, it bamboozled the people of Guyana that Amaila Project was technically feasible for a hydro project – at least on the surface of it.
Nagamootoo in an invited comment said that KN’s photograph of the Amaila Falls experiencing “seasonal drought tells a million sad stories and the publishers ought to be commended for this timely but dramatic revelation.”
The AFC Vice Chairman said that when that party met with Sithe Global and the Inter American Development Bank, “we disclosed that it has been brought to our attention that the water flow through Kuribrong would reduce during three months of the year…We had not been told that it would be reduced to a trickle.”
Nagamootoo said that this was one of the reasons “why we took a cautious approach and gave conditional support for the hydro project, pending a geo-technical feasibility report from the IDB.”
The Donald Ramotar outfit had accused AFC of ‘killing’ the project when the party refused to vote for $150B from the Treasury as a loan guarantee for GPL’s purchase of hydro power.
According to Nagamootoo, “It is evident that the hydro facility has suffered a still-born death.”
As such, he said that the regime must explain how Bharrat Jagdeo and Winston Brassington could revive the project “even if it does so out of shame.”
“It was because of this uncertainty that the hydro falls could provide year-long continuous and reliable service that we have to put GPL right, not only to be the flagship for distribution of energy from the hydro but to be an efficient standby in case of a shut down at Amaila.”
Nagamootoo reiterates, “We still insist that GPL put itself right.”
“The Donald Ramotar outfit had sold Amaila as the mother of all hydro falls but old people say, when you don’t have mother, you got to suck granny,” said Nagamootoo.
“So, we are stuck with GPL, it seems, with technical failures and impending tariff increase.”
The publication of the dried up Amaila Falls had also prompted the leader of the political opposition, David Granger, to remind that the proposed 165MW project was badly conceived in the first place.
Granger said that the possibility of a dried up falls and river is the reason why APNU had called for a Potaro Basin Development Authority in the first place.
He said that such a body would have been equipped with the necessary skills that would have been able to properly analyze and predict weather patterns.
According to Granger, there are a number of other sources of water in the Potaro basin that could have been diverted to the reservoir for the plant.
This would have allowed for a more stable supply of water that could facilitate an even larger plant.
He said, too, that a glaring example of the project being poorly conceived and implemented was the fact that at one point when the project was set to take off, there were still surveys being conducted.
Granger was making reference to the plane that had crashed on a Plaisance home which had been contracted by Sithe Global.
The American registered aircraft, a twin-engine Piper Aztec with registration number N27-FT, was on a technical survey mission for the Amaila Falls project.
Granger suggested that there is a need for a project that supplies much more than the proposed 165MW hence the need for a more guaranteed supply of water for the project.
Public Works Minister, Robeson Benn, in response to the image of the dried up Amaila Falls had said that it is not unusual for waterfalls used to provide hydroelectricity to run dry. He pointed to power stations in Suriname and in Brazil.
He said that the contractors would have built a dam that would have stored water to smoothen the flow regime. The dam would have given rise to a reservoir which would have been used to regulate the flow of water for the hydro.
The dam theory has since also been rejected, given that the proposed reservoir for the Amaila Site would be too small.
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