Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson has said that the government will build a 188 megawatt power plant which will come on stream by 2021. But according to Attorney-at-Law and Petroleum Consultant, Charles Ramson, the Minister was only engaging in another act of deception against the nation.
During an exclusive interview with Kaieteur News, the Petroleum Consultant said there is no contract signed with any of the operators to obtain the gas needed in sufficient quantities to power any gas power plant.
In addition, Ramson said that the approvals for this project would have been needed at the end of 2018 if it were to come on stream for 2021. Considering this, Ramson said it is clear that the government does not quite understand what needs to be done in order for this project to be completed.
Providing a summary of what would be needed, Ramson said that there are technical and economic feasibility studies which would have to be completed. He noted that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) would have to be done and thoroughly at that, therefore requiring a lot of time.
The lawyer said, “In the interim, the flow rates of Liza would need to be tested since the immediate available gas at this stage is associated gas from the Liza reservoir. The operators have first option to gas for optimising production. Once everything makes sense and the project is signed, then there is the laying of 120 miles of pipeline over a deep ocean floor which has peaks and valleys so that will also require time.”
Ramson added, “Then there is the procurement of goods and services which will also require a lot of time. Therefore, there are many things, which need to be done in order for this project to happen. The truth is, because the government has failed to provide the approvals, the preparatory work needed for the project to be green lighted has ceased completely.”
The lawyer said that if Minister Patterson’s statement were true to begin with, then it would be easy for him to provide the documents and agreements for the project, which shows a 2021 timeline.
Ramson said, “Let him say what the cost is also. I did some rough calculations and this project will cost a billion US dollars. And Patterson has history on this. In April of 2018, it was published that Patterson stated that the gas to power project was confirmed. It turned out not to be true at all.”
Even if those approvals were to be provided today, Ramson said that the project completion timeline would be later than initially planned. The consultant said that the harsh reality of this failure is that Guyana has no immediate solution for its energy needs and Guyanese will continue to be plagued with one of the highest electricity rates in the region and will continue to have blackouts.
“This means that four years since taking office, Guyana is without a solution for its energy woes. We continue to hold the post of the jurisdiction with the second most expensive costs for electricity in the region,” the young lawyer concluded.
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