GOGEC calls for more Private Sector participation in energy shift

– lauds Govt’s efforts to reduce disparity between local, foreign companies
While applauding the Guyana Government for its commitment towards transitioning to renewable energy at a time when the country’s oil and gas sector is booming, the Guyana Oil and Gas Energy Chamber (GOGEC) wants to have more discourse with the Administration.

GOGEC President Manniram Prashad

In a statement on Friday, GOGEC commended the People’s Progressive Party/Civic Government on its whopping $552.9 billion Budget 2022 that was presented by Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh on Wednesday.
The Oil and Gas Energy Chamber, which is headed by former Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister Manniram Prashad, said it is pleased to see critical facets of the revised Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) slated for implementation this year especially as it relates to enhancing energy access and the transition to renewable energy.
“For future consideration, GOGEC wishes to engage with the Government to better leverage Private Sector participation in the accelerated diffusion of renewable energy technologies, including e-mobility solutions,” the body stated.
Nevertheless, GOGEC praised the Government’s plans to pilot the installation of fast-charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs), in Regions Three, Four, and Six. These, in addition to the existing fiscal incentives for the procurement of renewable energy equipment, are all part of the Government’s plan to influence consumer choice in favour of low- or zero-carbon options.
According to the Chamber, this initiative to implement EV charging is excellent and sets an example for the shift to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly country. In the same breath, however, it recommended that the Solar EV charging stations be implemented across all Government buildings and for State vehicles to lead the shift to a fully electric vehicle fleet.
“Government should consider a reduced tax rate for hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles. This will encourage customers to purchase more environmentally friendly cars, therefore reducing the emission of CO2. Also, to further expand the ecosystem of enabling policies, the Government may consider subsidies for installing the Solar PV configurations for residential EV charging. Measures should be extended to the complete solution, which includes: panels, inverters, transformers, and batteries,” the Oil and Gas Energy Chamber suggested.
GOGEC said it sees the push towards a low carbon economy as a necessary measure in this new climate paradigm.
To this end, the body commended the injection of funding to accelerate the development of the transformative gas-to-energy project and the Amaila Falls Hydro Power Project. It said these strategic investments will unlock Private Sector transformation that embraces more significant value creation through light and heavy processing and a more diverse and modernised service sector and digital economy.
Further, GOGEC outlined that the small-scale hydro projects at Kumu, Moco Moco, and Kato; and off-grid solar projects will also significantly improve access to affordable energy services with high-quality standards to develop the communities in the interior.
“Establishing a coordinated approach for the electrification of the interior is commendable. It seeks to narrow the disparity between rural and urban areas and pave the way to a robust digital future for our Indigenous peoples and rural communities.”
“GOGEC looks forward to advocating for the equitable development of all energy resources and the households and industries that rely on them. In this manner, GOGEC continues to applaud proactive policies set out in the National Budget and the Low Carbon Development Strategy,” the Chamber stated.
Meanwhile, lauding Budget 2022 as reflective of the PPP/C Government’s commitment towards creating a progressive and equitable society for all Guyanese, GOGEC “welcomes measures to reduce the fiscal disparity between local and foreign companies operating along its value chain.”
It added, “These measures will further accelerate the participation of local firms in the sector. The revised Local Content Act will support the convergence of national and foreign interests in our finite resources’ equitable and sustainable development for generations to come. This is a solid adherence to the Natural Resources Governance Institute (NRGI) precept 5 (local effects) and precept 10 (Private Sector development).”
According to the Oil and Gas Energy Chamber, greater support to small businesses outlined in the budget will continue to nurture start-ups and position young Guyanese in the pathways for partnerships and knowledge transfer with foreign partners.
Moreover, it encouraged continued investment by both Government and Private Sector in prioritising ISO certifications to comply with globally recognised standards in services essential to harness the immense forward and backward linkages afforded by the oil and gas sector.
Similarly, GOGEC contended that the commercialisation of the various offshore discoveries will strongly impact the labour market dynamics of the Guyanese economy particularly the demand for oil and gas-related skills will increase as the oil and gas industry becomes more entrenched in the productive economic landscape of Guyana.
To this end, the Chamber commended Government’s expanded investment in education at all levels, including Technical and Vocational Institutions.