Mar 01, 2016 News
-85 percent of Mazaruni hydropower to go to Brazil
Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, has revealed that it is reengaging the Brazilian company with which Guyana signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Patterson was addressing the
Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Natural Resources, chaired by People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Member of Parliament, Odinga Lumumba, yesterday.
“We have reengaged the Brazilian company who previously signed an MOU with the government with the prospect of looking at the Mazaruni hydro,” Patterson said. “They have been here and you would note that when the (Government) met in Brazil they identified this along with other infrastructural projects as high priority for a bilateral (agreement).”
According to Patterson, they are examining the upper Mazaruni hydro site, which can provide up to 3000 megawatts. He stated that 85 percent of this supply/demand is guaranteed to the Brazilians, while five percent will go to Guyana. He further indicated that 10 percent will be reserved, with Guyana getting first options to use. Should it not be utilized, the MoU states that it will be sold to Brazil.
“What has been determined is that there are two sites, Mazaruni, which can provide us up to 3000 megawatts. The regulatory body has already provided them with an updated MOU that they will take 85 percent.”
“Five percent will go to the Government of Guyana and there will be a reserve ten percent, which we will have first call on. If we do not require it, it will be sold to Brazil.”
He stated that the company has already visited, in addition to holding a relatively high level meeting. Patterson indicated that the company was still extremely interested in that proposal. He stated that the last time they would have met would have been April 2015. He noted that a pre feasibility study was also submitted that very month.
Status of project
Commenting on the status of the project, as communicated to Government of Guyana less than three weeks ago, Patterson noted that there are some economic challenges. However, he revealed that the Brazilians are looking to engage an alternate partner, on whom the Government of Guyana is doing an evaluation.
“Unfortunately, as things stand in Brazil, they have some economic challenges. However the company is seeking to engage an alternate partner and we are in the stage (of doing) an evaluation of the proposed partner prior to us making (an) amendment, should we do away with that MOU, to allow them to share the information (on project) with the third party.”
He made it clear that with the MOU in place, Brazil will still fully fund the feasibility study in order to move forward.
Back in 2014, the previous administration had announced that a Brazilian consortium would be conducting the pre feasibility study. It had been revealed that the two companies, OAS and Quieroz Galvao, would also finance the construction of the facilities with a loan from the Brazilian Development Bank.
However, it had been agreed even back then that while Guyana would not have to be indebted, the consortium would ensure that Brazil be supplied with power. Two sites were being evaluated, the hydropower station in Upper Mazaruni which could supply 3000 megawatts of power and the other in Middle Mazaruni which could supply 1500.
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