New 4-lane highway to be built from Crane to Schoonord
…to complement major Region 3 developments, Wales Development Zone
President Dr Irfaan Ali has announced that a new four lane highway will be built from Crane to Schoonord, which would provide a diversion and mitigate the traffic build-up from Crane all the way to the West Bank of Demerara (WBD).
The President made the announcement while at the commissioning of GAICO’s dredge. According to the President, he has already inspected the alignment and the four-lane highway will be a much-needed investment.
“You know we have the plan to build the new highway from Parika. But because of the speed of development in the region, we now have to go with a stop gap. And we have to build an alternative highway, a four-lane highway, from Crane to Schoonord.”
“Because that is where there are huge traffic backups now. And yesterday we went to look at that alignment. An alignment that is just about 3.5 miles long. To have a diversion from Crane, all the way to the West Bank, as an initial phase,” President Ali said.
This new planned highway is part of a series of road infrastructure that the Government is currently undertaking across the country, including in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara).
Preliminary works have already commenced for an alternative highway from Schoonord to Parika that will run through the backlands. This road, which will be connected to the new Demerara River bridge that will be built, is expected to open up vast virgin lands for commercial, agricultural and housing activities.
Additionally, that highway will also pave the way for the construction of a road from Parika, East Bank Essequibo (EBE), to Bartica, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni).
The new Demerara River bridge will meanwhile offer easy connectivity to both the existing East Bank Demerara Road as well as the new Diamond-to-Ogle bypass on the eastern side of the river and to the existing West Bank Demerara road and the new Parika-to-Schoonord road on the western side of the river.
The new bridge will also offer critical connectivity to the new Wales Development Authority, which will be a major centre of productive activity when it comes on stream. President Ali also spoke about this project, as well as its offshoots.
“You have the pipeline coming in. The pipeline alone will create hundreds of jobs, that leads into the power plant. And then you have the natural gas plant that will separate the different component of the gas, creating a whole new range of industries.”
“Looking at least at a medium scale fertiliser plant to meet our local demand. These are the types of development that will support what we want to do. And all of that will come under the Wales Development Authority,” President Ali said.
The Government intends for the Wales Development Zone (WDZ) to be one of the largest industrial zones in the Caribbean. It is an integral part of the gas-to-shore project, which will 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 costs.
The project will be located in the Hermitage section of the WDZ, with approximately 150 acres allocated for it. It is expected to come on stream by late 2024 and will likely cut electricity costs by more than half. Importantly, there are plans for an industrial park comprising industries that could use gas, steam, and/or electricity.
The Government has already invited interested parties to invest in its US$900 million gas-to-energy project, WDZ. The pipeline, which would end in the WDZ, will measure some 225 kilometres from the Liza field, where the natural gas is produced.
The project will see the establishment of a gas processing plant (GPP) and a natural gas liquids (NGL) facility, capable of producing at least 4000 barrels per day, including the fractionation (or separating out) of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). (G3)