APNU wants hydro project repackaged


The A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) is urging government to repackage the hydroelectricity plan for the country, even as it declared it will not budge from the earlier position of non-support for the mega project.


Opposition Leader David Granger during a press conference on Monday reiterated the coalition’s position on the Amaila Falls project, and said that his party will not bend on its decision.


The APNU, he said remains firm on its position that the financial architecture of the project is likely to place a burden on taxpayers’ dollars.


“APNU is aware that no comprehensive document on the AFHP has ever been presented for debate in the National Assembly. The partnership cannot give its unequivocal support for a project which will fail to provide assurance that the final cost of power to the consumer will be appreciably lower than the current tariff,” Granger stated.


Granger said the coalition’s position is based on a number of conditions it has outlined. He said too that unless government provides more information, further discussions on Amaila will be affected.


Granger noted that the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is currently engaged in a due diligence study of the Amaila Falls project, and until that time, only then the main opposition would be able to pitch in, based on the findings.


Meanwhile, APNU’s finance spokesperson Carl Greenidge also contended that the financial architecture of the project is not feasible.


“Repackage it in a way that brings back to the energy plan… as part of an energy plan… as part of a set of projects to develop the Potaro basin and in which that specific project does not carry the inflated cost it carries.”


The Hydro-Electric Bill was last Thursday passed in the National Assembly with the support of the Alliance For Change (AFC), after lengthy deliberations. The Guarantee of Loans (Public Corporations and Companies) Bill, which sought to lift the debt ceiling, was also passed with the AFC’s support. The APNU voted against both measures.


Government had initially proposed to raise the debt ceiling from $1 billion to $150 billion, but later reduced the figure to $130 billion. However, during the debate, the AFC further reduced it to $50 billion. Only recently too, the developer of the Amaila project Sithe Global pulled out of the initiative, after consensus was not met at the level of the National Assembly.