Apr 30, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, confirmed on Monday that the selection of Wales for the US$900M gas-to-shore project was not done by experts. The selection was done by locals who Jagdeo firmly believe were competent enough for the job.
The official who holds oversight responsibility for the sector made these and other comments during a press conference held last week at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre with publishers, editors and journalists of the local media fraternity. Although five studies were done by its predecessor on bringing gas to shore via a pipeline leading from the Liza Phase One Project, Jagdeo said when the PPP/C took office; it found that the APNU+AFC had made no critical decisions on those documents.
As a result of this, Jagdeo said he and his team started work on selecting a suitable site. He said that Ogle, Crab Island and Wales were the areas under consideration. Following a detailed evaluation, the politician said Wales – where over 10,000 acres of land were allocated to house the industrial park – emerged as the most feasible option.
“Wales came out most feasible. Crab Island was all swampy and low and so development cost would have been extremely high and one of the good things about Wales is that it is less prone to flooding in that area,” expressed the Vice President.
But when pressed by the media to identify the gas experts on his team who helped with the selection of the site for example, the Vice President said, “Our team has planners et cetera, we can assess that. You not suggesting we need a foreigner to do that to select a site where we know what the parameters are, where we know where flooding takes place and where it doesn’t, where we know the cost of land is more expensive like Ogle versus Wales for development, you aren’t suggesting we need a foreign expert for that. We have enough technical people to do that.”
Apart from the site that was selected, Jagdeo said that another factor considered by his team early on was the price ExxonMobil would call for transporting the gas. Based on the sound of ongoing negotiations, Jagdeo said he expects the gas to come in not at market price and most certainly not in keeping with the pricing structure in the Production Sharing Agreement. Jagdeo said he is pushing to get the country a sweeter deal on the gas, which in his eyes, works out as close as possible to zero.
In terms of the amount of gas to be received, Jagdeo said that he was able to get a commitment from ExxonMobil to provide 50 million cubic feet of gas per day instead of the 30 million cubic feet the oil giant originally proposed. Jagdeo said, “30 million cubic feet would not allow us to generate 250 megawatt of power from the 300 megawatt plant we hope to build. So the 50 million cubic feet of gas will allow us to do 250 megawatts of power and have additional gas that will remain for other purposes such as urea, protein for the agriculture sector, et cetera.”
Jagdeo said too that the government made the decision to go with a 12-inch pipeline, which would come in handy for storing more gas.
In the meantime, the Vice President said engineers are evaluating two routes, one of which will be used to have the pipeline pass through Crane so as to feed the proposed Wales Industrial Park.
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