22% of budgeted $43B for gas-to-energy project used

– money used to prepare 100-acre site for gas facilities, other expenses

In the first half of 2023, a total of $9.6 billion was spent to develop the gas-to-energy project, out of the over $40 billion that was allocated in the 2023 budget, amounting to just over 22 per cent of the budgeted sum being spent.
This is contained in the Finance Ministry’s 2023 Mid-Year Report, among the updates that were provided on Guyana’s progress for the year when it comes to energy, including the progress that is being made on installing forms of renewable energy, such as solar in the hinterland.

A model of the gas-to-energy facilities that will be built

The report provides more details on what the money for the gas-to-energy project was spent on, including the preparation of the site that will house the Integrated NGL (Natural Gas Liquid) Plant and the 300-megawatt (MW) Combined Cycle Power Plant at Wales, West Bank Demerara (WBD).
“With respect to the gas-to-energy project in the Wales Development Zone, $9.6 billion was expended in the first half of the year of the $43.3 billion budgeted. These included outlays related to the development of the material offloading facility, the heavy haul road and preparatory works at the 100-acre site to prepare for the power plant and the integrated natural gas facilities,” the report states.
In Budget 2023, the gas-to-energy project received a $43.3 billion allocation. This allocation was in addition to the $24.6 billion injected into the start-up of the transformational project. The NGL and 300MW power plant components of the gas-to-shore project, are expected to cost US$759.8 million and will be financed through sources that include budgets and loan financing.
The scope of Guyana’s gas-to-energy project consists of the construction of 225 kilometres of pipeline from the Liza field in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana, where Exxon and its partners are currently producing oil.
During the 67th Sitting of Parliament in August, the Government also went before the National Assembly to request an additional $5 billion in supplementary funding for the gas-to-energy project, which will go towards the necessary infrastructure to support the project.
Specifically, it had been explained by Senior Minister in the Office of the Presidency with responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, that the money for the project would be used for upgrading the electrical distribution network necessary to integrate energy from the power plants in the project.
Meanwhile, the Mid-Year Report also revealed that in the first half of the year and in line with the Government’s clean energy objectives, a 1.5MW solar farm in Bartica was commissioned.

A solar plant that was commissioned at Mabaruma, Region One

“At maximum capacity this solar farm is expected to supply 1988 MWh to the grid, reducing the consumption of annual diesel by 714,648 litres. This solar farm forms part of the wider initiative aimed to add 3.75MWp of renewable electricity to Lethem, Bartica, Mahdia and Leguan,” the report states.
“In the first half of 2023, 12,000 solar home energy PV units were manufactured and are expected to be delivered to Guyana in the third quarter for distribution. These solar energy home units are an effective means of providing electricity at an individual level to the dispersed household in the hinterland area, providing sustainable lighting to hinterland homes.”
In keeping with its Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030, Guyana has continued to make key investments to expand its solar energy sources. The $625 million 1.5MW Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Farm that was commissioned in Daag Point, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) in April, is expected to provide clean, renewable energy to over 3000 residents of Bartica and its surrounding communities.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) had approved the use of US$83.8 million, earned from Norway by keeping Guyana’s rainforests intact, for the construction of a number of these solar farms, which aim to add renewable energy sources to Guyana’s grid.