Aug 22, 2021 News
…2017 IDB study will form basis of proposed joint summit to craft master plan—Ali
Kaieteur News – The success of Guyana’s proposed US$900M Gas-to-Shore energy project is dependent on the off take of electricity being generated as part of an interconnected grid including French Guiana, Brazil and neighbouring Suriname, a conclusion determined by the Inter-American Development Bank back in 2017.
This, since according to Guyana’s President, Irfaan Ali, there still remains significant uncertainty on the project and that the Arco Norte master plan, developed in 2017 by the IDB, is indeed the backbone behind a proposed joint summit between the countries.
President Ali made the disclosure on Thursday last during press engagement at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre (ACCC) following two days of talks with neighbouring Head of State, Surinamese counterpart, Chandrikapersad Santokhi.
The two led delegations that met and agreed on the joint development of a Natural gas master strategy, taking into account the potential resource available to the two countries in their offshore basin. More importantly, the Arco Norte Electrical Interconnection Study.
President Ali was at the time responding to members of the media, when asked about the direct input to be had from the IDB study.
According to Ali, “indeed a master plan was developed some time ago and it is in this context that this joint approach is being developed, so yes the joint energy plan is definitely linked and that is why we working towards a bigger summit with Brazil, French Guiana and Guyana.”
The President was however quick to hold back on providing “details,” signaling instead, the option to wait for the technical teams to meet and flesh out the details of the joint strategy—taking into account the Arco Norte study.
As such, he suggested, “very soon we will have the technical teams meeting and we have agreed that there will be briefings for the private sector and the media when we come up with that overarching strategy from the joint team.”
Surinamese President Santokhi in his remarks on the joint initiative told media operatives that “within a short period of time a design proposal will be presented for a clear strategy for how to extract the gas of the two nations for the industrial development in the west side of Suriname and the east side of Guyana and also to develop the bauxite industry and also to export that gas to Brazil.”
He did note however, “that those who are familiar with the plan would know of the potential there in creating a new hub of manufacturing, industrial activity but more importantly on the energy side.”
The President did use the occasion to concede still unknown variables that would guide the size and scope of any project and cited as example, “a lot of this has to do with quantum of gas and that is why we said that this strategic analysis and joint approach is critical to this to determine these technical attributes.”
According to the Guyanese President, when the technical teams have determined the quantum of available Natural gas, “that will determine the size of the initiative.”
The envisioned electricity transmission lines in the Arco Norte proposal for the interconnection would span over 1,900 kilometers across the countries.It was noted in that Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) study, that the Arco Norte interconnection will require major investments in transmission infrastructure to link the electricity systems in Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Roraima, and Amapá
Making the announcement, President Ali noted that the decision to forge ahead with the joint approach was taken, “recognising that both countries will be key players in the oil and gas sector.”
The Arco Norte Electrical Interconnection Study was commissioned by the IDB with the objective to assess the potential for an electrical interconnection of power systems in the Arco Norte Region of South America.
The Arco Norte Region consists of the countries of Guyana, Suriname, Brazil (with its northern states of Amapá and Roraima), and French Guiana (an overseas department of France); together these are known as the Arco Norte countries.
The Study was conducted in collaboration with the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), Energiebedrijven Suriname (EBS), Électricité de France (EDF), Centrais Elétricas Brasileiras (Eletrobras), and Agence Française de Développement (AFD).
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