Black Immigrant Daily News
An artist’s impression of the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project
Assuring that the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project (AFHP) will be built, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo has revealed that Brazilian investors are among the bidders who have been submitting unsolicited bids for the project.
Jagdeo made this revelation during his presentation to the International Energy Expo on Tuesday.
He laid out the backstory of the AFHP and noted to the thousands of attendees that while the Brazilian investors have submitted competitive bids, the Government is weighing if to accept them or go back out to tender.
“We retendered it, the Chinese company that won the bid could not complete the project because they could not raise the capital. We wanted an arrangement where we would buy power and not develop the hydro itself. We’ve had a number of unsolicited bids, two from Brazil, recently. And they’ve come in very, very competitively.”
“We’re looking at whether we’ll make a decision to go with one of them or we’ll go out back to public tender. Most likely we’ll go back out to public tender. But the hydro will be built,” Jagdeo said.
Jagdeo also revealed that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government is exploring the opportunities for exporting green hydropower. He pointed out that this is all part of creating a green economy that will allow Guyana to increase its energy supply, earn money and fulfil its commitments to reduce its carbon emissions by 70 per cent in 2030 through a progressively cleaner energy mix.
“The hydro, the gas-to-energy project and the solar project we’re pursuing, will cut emissions by 70 per cent, yet triple installed capacity. That is very important for us. Secondly, even if we don’t use the hydro to supply industries or consumer needs, we may be able to use it to do green hydrogen, which would potentially become another export for Guyana, that all the power from hydro will go to doing green hydrogen. We’re exploring that as a possibility.
During the opening day, President Dr Irfaan Ali used part of his keynote address at the expo to lambast those who he said have sought to derail Guyana’s economic development. An example he used was the former combined A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Opposition’s non-support of the AFHP, during the President Donald Ramotar Administration.
“Many persons today are shouting from the top of the mountain, about oh, why go hydro? More than decade ago, the then Government who are in office now painstakingly got investors to come here for the investment of hydro, AFHP.”
“You know what they did? They killed the project. An international investor walked away. Today, that project would have been completed and the people of Guyana would have been receiving electricity at half the price. It would have happened a long time ago,” Ali asserted.
AFHP was initiated under the previous People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration, but was scrapped by the coalition Administration which had controlled the National Assembly by a one-seat Opposition majority. At present, there is interest from several bilateral partners in the project to finance the construction of the project, with the Government also indicating on several occasions that the project is likely to be retendered.
The AFHP was the flagship of the LCDS. It was expected to deliver a steady source of clean, renewable energy that would have been affordable and reliable, and was envisioned to meet approximately 90 per cent of Guyana’s domestic energy needs while removing dependency on fossil fuels.
The site was first identified in 1976 by the Canadian company Monenco during an extensive survey of hydroelectric power potential in Guyana. Various studies have since justified and strongly supported the construction of the AFHP.