Jul 06, 2021 News
– Exxon’s Gas-to-Energy project is set to cost Guyana US$3M per MW
Kaieteur News – Public consultations for Exxon’s Gas-to-Energy project are set to commence today and will run until July 22, 2021. During this time, members of the public can list concerns about Exxon’s Gas-to-Energy project, which proposes to install a pipeline from the FPSOs Liza Destiny and Unity to an onshore facility located at Wales, West Bank Demerara.
The cost for the entire project is estimated at US$900 million. This cost covers the entire project with approximately $630 million for the offshore pipeline and “riser,” $100 million for the onshore pipeline, $120 million for the gas plant and $50 million for infrastructure. The project, upon its completion is expected to produce an additional 200 Megawatts of power for Guyana. When this is contextualised as the cost per megawatt (MW), dividing the cost of the project by the output capacity for power in terms of MW, a value of US$3 million per MW is obtained. This means that Guyana would have spent US$3 million or G$625 million for every MW generated.
By comparison, this publication has learnt that solar companies in the United States are lobbying for the commencement of seven solar power farms based in Louisiana, which together, are set to generate 890 MW of electricity for a total cost of US$868 million. This total power generation cost works out to the price per MW being equated to just above US$975,000.
It should be noted that when examined individually all of these projects would generate significant amounts of electricity at a far cheaper cost per MW than the US$3 million price tag of Exxon’s proposed gas-to-energy. The new proposed projects and their associated (US$) cost per MW are identified below.
-Kontiki Holdings LLC is planning a $145 million solar project in Beauregard Parish. The 1,970-acre project could produce 200-megawatts of electricity at a cost of $725,000 per megawatt.
-Bogalusa West PV I LLC seeks to spend $200 million on a 200-megawatt solar project in Bogalusa at a cost of US$1,000,000 per megawatt.
-Thibodaux Solar Project LLC also looks to spend $200 million on a 200-megawatt solar farm in Thibodaux at the same cost per megawatt.
-Vacherie Solar Energy Center is proposing an $89 million project, which would produce 80-megawatts of power.
-St. James Solar III LLC is looking at a $100 million project to produce 90-megawatts of electricity and St. Jacques Solar LLC is proposing a 120-megawatt solar project in Vacherie, looking to spend $134 million. For these projects, each would cost US$1,100,000 per megawatt.
Given the foregoing, one can conclude that by comparison of the Gas-to-Energy project and a Solar power farm, each with a capacity for 200-MW of electricity generation, the renewable energy option is over 65 percent cheaper. This is evident as the gas-to-energy project costs US$3 million per MW while similar capacity solar farms being proposed would cost about US$1 million per MW. This discovery has raised questions among stakeholders as the administration aims to utilise a gas-to-energy project when equally viable, much less harmful and inexpensive alternatives exist.
Concerns in this regard are justified given a recent occurrence where a similar gas project in the Gulf of Mexico, which suffered a catastrophic gas leak, resulted in massive balls of flame bubbling to the surface of the water. This publication had previously carried an article looking at the implications for such a phenomenon occurring in Guyana. But this is not the only phenomenon that serves to cast doubt upon the US$900 million energy project, as the aforementioned renewable alternatives serves both as viable and better solutions for Guyana’s energy woes. As stated, it is quite possible for solar power farms with identical capacity to that of the proposed Gas-to-Energy project to be constructed and operated for a fraction of the cost. Additionally, it should be noted that a global call exists for a shift away from fossil fuel-based projects. This was highlighted, inter alia in a June 12th article carried by this publication entitled ‘Over 100 economists call on G7 countries to end funding for fossil fuel projects’ (https://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2021/06/12/over-100-economists-call-on-g7-countries-to-end-funding-for-fossil-fuel-projects/).
As the Government continues to push for the Gas-to-Energy project, ignoring viable alternatives, it is pertinent to note that the construction and operation of various parts of the gas-to-energy plant will inevitably contribute to elevated Co2 emissions. A 2013 study estimates that renewable energy sources [such as solar] typically emit about 50g or less of CO2 emissions per kWh over their lifetime, compared to about 1,000g CO2/kWh for coal and 475g CO2/kWh for natural gas. This translates to a solar power plant that produces the same amount of electricity as the proposed gas-to-energy project would not only potentially be 66 percent cheaper, but also over nine times cleaner than the proposed gas-to-energy project in relation to the polluting effect on the air we breathe.
DECEPTION & CORRUPTION getting WORSE by the minute in GUYANA.
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