Mar 01, 2021 News
Kaieteur News- Government’s proposed plan to land the gas-to-shore project at Wales would be considered an act of “lunacy” says Shadow Oil and Gas Minister, David Patterson.
Patterson during his contribution to the 2021 Budget Debates, reported that the Coalition when in office had conducted several studies pinpointing different sites for the project. Wales he outlined, was one of the areas examined by a multi stakeholder group and was not deemed viable as it would involve placing the gas pipeline at the mouth of one of Guyana’s busiest river.
“Like most South America Rivers –the Demerara River is fast flowing, the US Army doesn’t even allow their divers to do salvage work in rivers of this speed,” he detailed.
According to Patterson, the proposed 2023 timeline outlined by Government for the project to be completed is “hogwash” if it’s done within acceptable standards.
Patterson continued, “The FEED (Front End Engineering Design) which is done after the completion of the feasibility takes nine months, the fabrication of the pipeline alone takes two years, laying of the pipeline is another nine months – not to mention the civil works for the power plants as well as the sub-stations for GPL [Guyana Power and Light]”.
Not only that, Patterson added that the supply of gas will be interpreted for at least two to three days yearly to support routine maintenance of the equipment. To keep the plants functioning, he stated that large supply of fuel would be needed. Further to this, he stated that it is impractical to build storage tanks for natural gas at Wales while adding, that the location makes it very difficult to supply with Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO).
The Former Public Infrastructure Minister also slammed Government for moving ahead with the project without conducting any pertinent studies prior.
The Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo had told the press at his last media engagement that a geophysical study, a geotechnical study, and an environmental impact study, will be done before Government moves to the next phase of the project.
Those details were only revealed after transparency advocates called on Government to prove the economic soundness of the project, by releasing studies on its feasibility.
But according to Patterson, those studies should have been done prior.
“This is a classic case of putting the cart before the horse – what results do they expect these studies to provide? The decisions have already been made–these studies will just be window dressing to a bad project,” Patterson added.
The Coalition Government had identified the Greenfield-Mahaica area for the Gas-to-Shore project, but the VP had explained Government thought it best to explore areas where there are large virgin lands and low population density.
Two areas, Crab Island and the Wales Estate, were being considered. According to Jagdeo, the Wales site turned out to be the better option as it is estimated to be less costly.
The project would utilize associated gas from ExxonMobil’s Liza Phase One project, which has been in operation since December 2019. ExxonMobil Guyana President, Alistair Routledge has said that the company can bring as much as 50 million cubic feet of gas to shore per day, more than Guyana needs.
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