Ramotar wants final meeting with APNU on hydro project


President Donald Ramotar is recommending that a final meeting be convened with the main opposition party A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) to address and settle issues surrounding the Amaila Falls Hydro Power Project, raised by the coalition.
APNU recently highlighted that there are 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.

Donald Ramotar

Donald Ramotar


In this regard, President Ramotar, via a statement on Friday, said: “To help build consensus on these two outstanding points, I suggest that Mr Granger’s team and a team from the government meet to, once and for all, settle these issues, and to publicly communicate the meeting’s outcomes.”


Forging consensus


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 first12 years after operations begin, by over 70 per cent for the next eight years”.Ramotar said if the leader of the opposition and his team could agree that their concerns have been addressed, “Then Guyana can put the rancour of recent weeks behind us, and forge a strong, unified, national consensus in favour of the Amaila Falls project”.


Once there is national consensus on the project, then the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will be able to complete its due diligence to publicly validate the facility’s costs and benefits.


The government of Guyana had invited the IDB to carry out the due diligence study on the Amaila Falls Hydro Power Project.
Despite years of work, the due diligence on the project cannot be completed because the developer, Sithe Global, said it could not proceed without national consensus, and withdrew from the project.


Completion of the IDB’s due diligence and a conclusion that the details underpinning the project are sound would see the project going to the IDB Board in October.


This in turn would trigger the six-week public Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) process to release most of the remainder of the taxpayer’s equity contribution to Amaila.


With this, the project will finally gain the IDB Board’s approval that it is financially, socially and environmentally viable and the GRIF Steering Committee’s validation that the project is in line with Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy.


These will in turn enable final contracts to be signed – at the price agreed for the construction of the Amaila Falls project, which expires on December 31, 2013.


Ramotar reiterated that by 2017 Guyana can have clean, affordable, reliable energy. This can transform our economy, and bring benefits to all Guyanese.