President Irfaan Ali- led administration is looking to the government of India for a US$10M loan to kick start energy programmes within hinterland and riverain communities. This disclosure was made by President Ali as he made a presentation during the virtually held Private Sector Commission annual general meeting recently.
According to Ali, who also spoke of other matters of interest, revealed that the energy programmes will be a part of a major effort by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) to restore the hydro-project which will be supported by a natural gas facility and the energy programmes within hinterland communities.
Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill, had recently announced that the government has engaged India in procuring around 25,000 solar panels to aid in the electrification of hinterland communities across the country. Edghill noted that electrification of the hinterlands has always been a main priority of the PPP/C even before 2015 when it demitted office.
The Minister also stated that President Ali had a discussion with the Indian High Commissioner about formulating a programme to enable households in the hinterland communities and riverain communities to benefit from solar energy.
According to Edghill, the units to be procured will be an upgrade from the regular 60-watt units to 100-watt units. It was stated that based on the outcome of a meeting between President Ali and the Indian High Commissioner, a determination will be made on how the project moves forward. He nevertheless made it clear that he, along with the Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar, will be actively working to ensure that the project continues.
Edghill said, “The Government of Guyana continues to pursue renewable energy initiatives, and one of the programmes that was in the Ministry and not really moving in a manner that we would have expected because we would have complained about the incompetence and mismanagement and maladministration that occurred.”
The announcement of the hydro-project at the Amaila Falls being restored was also previously addressed by Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo. The Amaila Falls hydropower began under the PPP; however, it was squashed by the A Partnership for National Unity +Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) administration in late 2017.
Additionally, at the meeting with the PSC, Ali announced that he will be seeking to reduce energy costs by 60 percent over the next three years. Ali stated that this is imperative to increase business competitiveness in Guyana. He further added that, “We must have a net surplus of energy; enough energy to develop a proper manufacturing and processing center whilst we bring down that cost of energy.”
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