Guyana discusses opportunities in renewable energy, aviation with India
Public Works Minister, Bishop Juan Edghill is currently on an official visit to India, where renewable energy and other matters of interest have been discussed with his counterpart.
The high-level meeting between Guyana’s Public Works Minister and India’s Minister of Power, New and Renewable Energy, Shri RK Singh, took place on Monday, as the two countries aim to further strengthen bilateral relations.
Discussions surrounded Guyana’s push towards affordable, renewable energy and the avenues the Government is taking for this, which includes: the Gas-to-Energy Project, the new LCDS 2030 Project, the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project, and solar and wind farms.
Minister Singh shared India’s experiences on renewable energy and power generation and was keen on enhancing knowledge sharing and capacity building between Guyana and India.
Minister Edghill is currently in India for the launch ceremony of the new ferry vessel for the Northwest District, which takes place in Kolkata, India, today.
Guyana’s delegation includes Guyana’s High Commissioner to India, Charrandas Persaud; Chairperson of the Transport and Harbours Department, Rosalinda Rasul; Chief Transport Planning Officer, Patrick Thompson and First Secretary-Guyana High Commission to India, Ronalda Edwards Horatio.
The LCDS is the brainchild of former President Bharrat Jagdeo. Under President Dr Irfaan Ali, an updated LCDS has been launched. The Government has announced plans to resuscitate the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project.
Meanwhile, the gas-to-shore project includes the construction and operation of the pipeline from the Exxon-operated Stabroek Block offshore Guyana to the onshore NGL plant. A second component of the project will be a power plant that will be constructed by the Guyana Government and will use the gas produced to generate electricity to feed into the national grid.
With a timetable to deliver rich gas by the end of 2024 and the NGL plant to be online by 2025, works are progressing on getting the project off the ground. The scope of the US$900 million gas-to-shore project consists of the construction of 225 kilometres of pipelines from the Liza field in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana, where Exxon and its partners are currently producing oil.
Additionally, the construction on the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project (AFHP) will start this year, as Government continues to ramp up spending on renewable energy projects as well as upgrades to the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) infrastructure.
The project will be built under the BOOT model (Build-Own-Operate-Transfer), which will see the Guyana Power and Light buying power from the company at no more than US7.7 cents per kilowatt.
The AFHP was first identified in 1976 by the Canadian company “Monenco” during an extensive survey of hydroelectric power potential in Guyana. Various studies have since justified and strongly supported the construction of the AFHP.
The revival of the 165-megawatt Amaila Falls Hydropower Project was one of the promises made by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) in its manifesto. The project was initiated under the previous PPP/C Administration but was scrapped by the coalition Administration which had controlled the National Assembly by a one-seat Opposition majority.
The Amaila Falls Hydropower Project was the flagship of Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS). Amaila was expected to deliver a steady source of clean, renewable energy that would have been affordable and reliable, and was envisioned to meet approximately 90 per cent of Guyana’s domestic energy needs while removing dependency on fossil fuels.
The Public Works Minister also met with India’s Minister of Civil Aviation, Jtotiraditya Scindia on Tuesday.
The two officials discussed advancing cooperation on aviation matters, including technical cooperation and the promotion of international air services between Guyana and India.
It was also agreed that efforts will be made to conclude the technical negotiations in short order on the Air Services Agreement between Guyana and India, with an aim to signing same on the side-lines of the upcoming ICAO Ministerial Meeting in Montreal, September 2022.
The Ministers also discussed the exploration of possible options that may remove the incumbents to the visa requirements and allow for direct air linkage between New Delhi and Georgetown and ultimately the rest of Caricom.