Govt says Amaila hydro project is dead


Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon has described the Amaila Falls Hydro Power Project as “dead”, noting that the opportunity to transform the country’s energy sector is no longer available to Guyana.

During his weekly post-Cabinet media briefing on Wednesday, Dr Luncheon said the Amaila Falls project is now a dead one, as a result of the A Partnership for National Unity’s (APNU) position on the project.

Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon

Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon


He noted the opposition has thwarted progress on developing the project, leaving much work at a standstill.


However, Dr Luncheon noted that the access road to the facility is still being built and it will be utilised, as it is being funded by taxpayers’ money. Dr Luncheon reiterated that citizens would no longer be able to benefit from cheaper energy as a result of the opposition’s deadbeat stance on the project.


“This outcome has isolated the parliamentary opposition, divided their supporters and activists and exposed to Guyanese of all walks of the machinations of the opposition”.
Dr Luncheon also noted that with the death of the project, the licence held by developer, Sithe Global, would now be of no use. He stated that once the plug is pulled, the licence contractual agreements, all die together with it.


“The project is dead; I am not certain what the licence of a dead project actually confers, what it actually means.”
These developments, he reiterated, all stem from the actions of the opposition.


“Not only Guyanese have seen their contempt, but our bilateral partners, international friends and supporters have all been disdained by the act of the opposition or by their responses to the end treaties of these well-wishers of Guyana,” he added.


Since the A Partnership For National Unity (APNU) refused to support the passage of the Hydro-Electric (Amendment) Bill, Sithe Global has withdrew its services for the continuation of the development of the project.


It has cited the lack of political consensus for its move.


APNU voted against the bill with its chief spokesman on financial matters Carl Greenidge saying that there were still a considerable amount of questions about the project unanswered.


The coalition highlighted two main issues preventing it from supporting the project. It believes the project is likely to “condemn Guyanese to excessive indebtedness” and that it will not “provide assurance that the final cost of power to the consumer will be appreciably lower than the current tariff”.


APNU and Opposition Leader David Granger said the coalition could not support the hydropower project in its current form and called on government to revise it.


Recently, President Donald Ramotar called for a final meeting with APNU to address and settle issues surrounding the Amaila Falls project. He expressed hope that the meeting will result in the two sides agreeing on the fact that “Guyana is incurring no debt from the Amaila Falls Hydro Project,” and “Amaila falls will reduce the tariff paid by GPL for electricity by 40 per cent for the first 12 years after operations begin, and by over 70 per cent for the next eight years.”