Home Letters Best is yet to come from gas- to-shore in Guyana
Guyana’s gas-to-shore project is definitely a game-changing initiative that would see gas from the Liza Field offshore Guyana being pumped onshore to generate power. The main objective of the initiative is to transport sufficient gas from the Stabroek Block’s petroleum operations to supply some 200-250 megawatts of energy to the national grid, leading to a significant reduction in electricity cost.
President Dr Irfaan Ali had previously said the landing of the gas-to-shore pipeline in Region Three would lead to “big industrial development taking place there, that is linked to not only power generation and a power plant.” He also said the investment on the Demerara River’s shoreside would create massive opportunities and a trickle-down effect.
Reducing the cost of energy would not only make the country more competitive in terms of us being able to export more with the objective of having a trade balance surplus, but we would also save foreign exchange, because we spend more than $500 million a year to import fuel.
So, the gas-to-shore project would mean that we would get cheaper electricity, we would be pushing industrialisation and reducing manufacturers’ costs. It also means we are going to save about $250 million or more in fuel importation. Public and private investments could potentially increase by more than 50 per cent annually, effectively translating into the creation of more than 100,000 jobs along with tremendous growth in entrepreneurial opportunities during this period. In this regard, with unemployment currently estimated to be more than 25 per cent or 125,000 persons of the total labour force, the number could be reduced to the lower single digits over the next five years.
The gas-to-shore project would transform Guyana’s economic landscape, bringing tremendous development for all. Our Government expects Guyana to save as much as US$160 million a year in power costs when the gas-to-shore project, which would be feeding gas from the Liza Field offshore Guyana, comes on stream.
The project is expected to have a positive impact on future operating costs in Guyana, and enable the country to restructure its energy matrix to support its burgeoning industrial sector.
This gas-to-shore project is intended to deliver affordable energy to Guyanese consumers, utilising natural gas presently being flared from the country’s world class offshore oil finds. It is important to all Guyanese as it would break the country’s dependence on imported fuel oil, lower costs, stabilise the energy system, and enable Government to explore other renewable energy solutions, including hydropower. This would include the PPP/C Government’s flagship hydropower project at Amaila Falls in Region 8, which was championed by the PPP/C when last in office, but was set aside by the former APNU+AFC administration. It is to be resuscitated. Our Government must go back to hydro and an energy mix – hydro, wind, solar.
When we examine the social, environmental and economic benefits to be had from the imminent gas-to-shore project, it is clear that Guyana has nothing to lose. The project would help the PPP/C Government and Guyana in its goal to transition to cleaner sources of energy, reduce its carbon footprint and electricity costs for citizens, and serve as a catalyst for economic development.
If you ask many of our investors and local business persons what is their number one obstacle to doing business here in Guyana, they would say electricity, from the aspect of cost and reliability. So, the PPP/C Government has highlighted electricity generation as a high priority. It is imperative that, as Guyanese, we all support the gas-to-shore project. It is clear that the price of electricity in Guyana would fall by 50 to 60 percent, and there are many other efficiency gains that could be had from the side of transmission for our country.
The PPP/C Government’s transformative gas-to-shore project, which is expected to be in operation by 2023, would see some 3000 persons being employed. The best is yet to come from gas-to-shore in Guyana.