MoF denounces continued misinformation peddled against Amaila Falls Project

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has firmly denounced continued misinformation that is being peddled in the public domain against the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project.
In a statement, it drew attention to information published under the banner of a daily publication, indicating that the Amaila Falls power plant would not supply electricity to Essequibo and Berbice.

Artist’s impression of the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project

“This statement, once again and much like many other statements coming out of this media house recently, is simply not true. Amaila will supply electricity through Sophia to the national grid for distribution,” the Ministry clarified.
It added that this will include Berbice, which is already connected through the Demerara-Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS). Additionally, even in advance of Amaila, the Government is already working to deliver approximately 10 megawatts of peak solar power directly to Regions Five (Mahaica-Berbice) and Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).
“Similarly, the Government is also already working on a project to deliver eight megawatts of solar power to Essequibo. Furthermore, the master plan for the electricity sector includes linking isolated Essequibo systems with the DBIS by 2026.”
Any information which deviates from the Government position, the Ministry contended, should be dubbed an inaccuracy and be denounced fully.
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 expected completion date is 2027.
The AFHP will be based on a Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) model where the company will supply electricity to GPL Inc at a cost not exceeding US$0.07737 per kWh and where the company will provide the entire equity required by the project and undertake all the risks associated with the project.
The revival of the 165-megawatt AFHP was one of the promises made by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic 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 AFHP 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 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 Government has allocated a total of $29.4 billion to the energy sector in 2022. Another energy-related project is the gas-to-shore project, which Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh assured would be constructed in keeping with transparency and accountability.
This project, he said, will allow the Government to phase out the use of expensive and carbon-intensive heavy fuel oil and is targeted to reduce costs substantially.