Jul 25, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – The Office of the Prime Minister has published a request for proposals for the Amaila Falls hydro project on Friday, as the government looks to revive the project which has not gotten off the ground for more than a decade since it was first proposed, due to issues of feasibility and a lack of transparency.
The People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) had intended years ago, to have the China Railways First Group (CRFG) develop the project, with money coming from Norway, China and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). But a Norwegian ethics council had raised questions about the involvement of the Chinese company in a significant corruption case.
Now, the Government wants a private partner to fund and develop the project. According to the notice, the development arrangement for the project will take one of two systems.
With the first option, Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT), the developer would operate the project for a 20-year BOOT period, before handing it over to the government at no cost. With the second option, Design-Build-Finance, the government would take over the project at the commissioning date and initiate repayment of the financing in accordance with contract terms.
It said that those interested will have to submit proposals under both options, and the government will choose one. The notice said that the Government will choose a capable partner based on how their plans align with the timeframes stipulated, and the lowest economic costs including life-cycle costs. The submissions would have to include estimated project costs, detailing all capital costs, financing costs, supervision costs, development costs, and all other costs to date of commissioning/commercial operations.
The Office of the Prime Minister said that interested parties should review and comment on all project documents and technical studies generally available at the end of 2015.
With many questions about whether this project would work, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and Alliance for Change (AFC) had combined forces in Parliament to oppose it, following the 2011 general election. After the two parties formed a coalition and won the 2015 general election, the project did not stand a chance.
The PPP/C campaigned with the revival of the Amaila Falls project as a manifesto promise, and is now looking to fast-track it.
“The GoG desires start of construction by second half of 2022, with project completion and commissioning by end of 2025,” the notice states. This is similar to the Government’s plan for the gas-to-shore project, which is intended for construction from 2022, with completion and commissioning in 2024.
The PPP/C Government has not sufficiently responded to concerns raised by civil society and the media about the gas-to-shore project, much less the Amaila Falls project.
The public notice about Amaila states “GPL’s current Development and Expansion (D&E) Plan for 2021 to 2025, projects total capacity required in 2025 as 465 MW and energy of 2,900 GWH. The GOG proposes an energy mix that will utilize both natural gas, Heavy Fuel Oil, and renewables (hydro, wind, solar).”
With the gas-to-shore and Amaila projects being the main sources of power, the government said that other renewable sources and heavy fuel oil will make up the balance or serve as backup.
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