Govt secures financing from Islamic bank for hydropower projects
…GEA now seeking consultants to review designs, supervise construction
The Government of Guyana, which has been ushering in a slew of projects that will cut Guyana’s reliance on Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO), has now secured funding from the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) for renewable energy projects.
According to the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), funding has been secured from the Bank for the cost of the “Small Hydropower Project”, and some of that money will go towards consultancy services.
The GEA has, in fact, started tendering for consultants, issuing a notice inviting bids from firms for “Design Review and Construction Supervision of two hydropower plants”. One project entails the construction of a new 0.5 megawatt (MW) hydropower plant at Kumu in the Rupununi and the other, the rehabilitation and upgrade of the Moco Moco hydropower facility, to 0.7 MW.
“The consultancy services will be carried out over a period of 33 months from March 2022 to December 2024. The Guyana Energy Agency, the executing agency, now invites eligible consulting firms to indicate their interest in providing the services,” the GEA said in its notice.
“Interested consultants must provide specific information which demonstrates that they are qualified to perform the services (including brochures, description of similar assignments completed and/or ongoing, experience in similar conditions, availability of appropriate skills among staff, proof of legal status, company profile and contact details for authorised contact person(s) and financial status including audited financial statements for the last three years).”
It was only on Monday that Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo led a national stakeholder consultation at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) aimed at updating Guyana’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) ahead of the convening of the United Nations COP26 summit.
Guyana’s last NDCs saw the country committing to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025, a commitment that was unrealistic and is now being updated with more realistic goals and the projects to back them up. During the session, Jagdeo spoke of some of those projects that would help Guyana to increase its use of renewable energy.
“The gas-to-energy project will, hopefully, by 2024, 2025, cut our emissions by 50 per cent. And then with solar, we hope to do between 30 to 50 megawatts of solar. And with the hydro, we’ve just opened the tender for hydro. We’re hoping that by 2027, we will probably achieve a 70 per cent cut in emissions,” the Vice President had said.
Jagdeo noted that with Guyana Power and Light (GPL) currently supplying approximately 140 megawatts of power, 500 megawatts of new power from renewable sources will severely cut emissions.
The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration is looking to have the gas-to-shore project done by 2023, and in an effort to further push this initiative, it has stipulated stiff fines and penalties in the Payara Licence against flaring of excess natural gas – something which Exxon has been flagged for doing in the Stabroek Block.
Exxon itself has said that the gas that would be required for the gas-to-shore project is available. Estimates have put the figure required for the gas-to-shore project at 30 to 35 million cubic feet of natural gas.
Previously-released data from Norwegian research company Rystad Energy on Guyana had indicated that a little less than 20 per cent of the 1.8 billion Barrels of Oil Equivalent (BOE) discovered last year was gas. The Haimara discovery made by Exxon last year was found to have 207 feet of high-quality gas condensate sandstone reservoirs.
But for reasons unclear, little progress was made by the previous A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government on the gas-to-shore project. There had only been talk of natural gas and liquid petroleum plants, with the pipe carrying the gas to shore at a location along the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) and the power being integrated into the GPL grid.
Besides the gas-to-shore project and the hydropower projects at Kumu Falls and Moco Moco, the Government is also bringing back the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project (AFHP). In fact, bidding was recently opened for the construction of the project, as well as supporting infrastructure to transmit the power to the Demerara Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS).
The project entails the construction of a 165 MW installed hydro dam, plant and related works, as well as transmission lines and structures from Amaila Falls in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) to Sophia, Greater Georgetown. (G3)