Oct 03, 2015 News
The 165MW Hydro Electric Power Plant that was being pursued, as conceived by the previous administration at Amaila Falls, was not viable. The new administration has since been vindicated in its decision not to proceed with it.
This is according to Head of State, President David Granger, who yesterday provided an update following a meeting with Luis Alberto Moreno, the President of one of the key partners in the project, the Inter American Development Bank’s (IDB).
The project which saw an escalating price tag that almost reached US$1B was sidelined by the coalition A Partnership for National Unity, Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) government, a decision President Granger said, is now being vindicated.
“The IDB spent millions of dollars investigating the possibility of having a hydro power project based on the Amaila Falls, I do not want to disclose the details of my conversation with President Moreno, but I can say that generally speaking, the Amaila Falls Project as conceived by the previous administration was not viable, it is not viable and we are unlikely to proceed with the falls in the form it was conceived and presented to us,” said President Granger.
He recalled that during the life of the 10th Parliament there was never a Bill that described or defined the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project.
“Two measures came before the National Assembly, one concerned the debt ceiling and the other concerned the reservoir, the area that is likely to be flooded.”
He stressed that there was none in the 10th Parliament who was given a single document “stating what the Amaila Falls Hydro Power Project’s capabilities were, apart from what we were told about building a road.”
The President said his team was never really able to determine viability of the project as a whole.
He told media operatives that APNU+AFC while in opposition pointed to the fact that the flow of water on the Kuribrong River needed to be considered in conjunction with the entire Potaro Basin.
This suggestion, he said, was aimed at looking to trap the water flows from several rivers.
“We have never seen the Kaieteur Falls bone dry but we have seen the Amaila Falls bone dry,” according to President Granger.
“We had a different concept; we want hydropower and I think the IDB is inclined to support hydropower but what was put before them is not viable,” said Granger.
He pointed out too, that the IDB conducted further investigations into the viability of the project and recalled too, that the APNU+AFC did engage with the IDB while in opposition.
The President did point out that during his meeting with Moreno over the course of the past week; they did not pursue discussions on the development of hydropower facilities either at Moco Moco or Tumatumari—two sites recently flagged by Government as possible locations for the development of smaller hydro power facilities.
According to President Granger, “There are about 100 sites in Guyana which can support hydroelectric generation and we intend to pursue hydroelectric generation.”
On the matter of the Amaila Falls Project, President Granger told media operatives, “everything about it appeared to us to be flawed and we feel vindicated in that we did not spend our good money, or we did not take loans which have to be paid back to develop that particular project.”
He is convinced that “sooner or later Guyana will have hydro power, whether it’s one project or several small projects, this is still to be decided.”
According to President Granger, the Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson, is engaged in investigating not just hydro power potential, “but also other forms of renewable energy particularly solar energy and wind.”
He disclosed too that during Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting, the Council of Ministers did address the concept of wind and solar farms.
“Not one-one panels, but farms which can generate (electrical) power for whole communities.”
Asked to specify whether the project being deemed not viable was a position of the IDB, Granger told media operatives: “I don’t want to speak for the IDB, but as I said the IDB spent millions of dollars investigating this project.”
According to the President, the IDB “wanted it to work but at this point in time I do not feel that they are convinced that we should proceed with the project.”
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