Only a few will be affected by gas-to-shore pipeline route – Min Bharrat

– says sections of land being acquired; affected landowners being engaged

The Government of Guyana has over the past few weeks been engaging with residents who will potentially be affected by the gas-to-shore pipeline route and according to Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat, only a few persons will be inconvenienced by the route.

AG Anil Nandlall, SC, and Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat along with other officials during a recent engagement with WBD residents who will be affected by the gas-to-shore project

In a recent interview, Bharrat explained that when it comes to the acquisition of land, they are avoiding residential land and are mostly focused on farmlands. According to him, he along with Attorney General Anil Nandlall, Housing Minister Collin Croal and Public Works Minister Juan Edghill have been meeting the farmers.
“The Attorney General is leading the process in terms of acquisition of land. Myself, Minister Croal and Minister Edghill would have met with residents from the Crane area all the way down to the Wales area. We had two meetings. Saturday (last week) was the second meeting with the second set of residents, where we outlined the benefits of the project.”
“We had the map of the pipeline route, we know the amount of land that is required, from each land owner and as you would realise, we tried to avoid private lands as best as possible. That is why we realise now that it is only a few persons are affected. And we also try, as best as possible, not to affect persons’ personal dwelling homes or pass the pipeline into a residential area. That has been avoided.”
According to Bharrat, the Government’s team of lawyers continue to engage with the farmers and residents, to ensure that a mutually beneficial agreement for acquisition is arrived at. He noted that while no residents’ dwelling will be affected, they would have met approximately 50 farmers so far who could be affected. Bharrat further explained that it is not the total land that will be affected, but rather, sections.
“As we speak, we’re still working with those land owners to ensure we come to a process that is mutually agreed upon, by both Government and the land owners. That is the intention of Government, to ensure we do it through a consultative process and it is a mutual agreement between land owners and Government, at the end of the day.”
“The pipeline is just 12 inches. We’re just ensuring that we have enough space for the pipeline and the buffer zone. So, it’s not acquiring total land on the farms,” the Minister went on to explain.
The path that has to be cleared for the pipelines is in the vicinity of Nouvelle Flanders, West Coast Demerara, to Wales, West Bank Demerara (WBD). Already, Government has met with the West Coast landowners, and a team of lawyers was put together to negotiate with each property owner or their legal representative to reach an agreement.
The gas-to-shore project, which is pegged at more than US$1 billion, will feature approximately 220 kilometres of a subsea pipeline offshore from the Liza Destiny and Liza Unity Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels in the Stabroek Block to onshore.
Upon landing on the WCD shore, the pipeline will continue for approximately 25 kilometres to the Natural Gas Liquid (NGL) plant to be constructed at Wales. The pipeline will be 12 inches in diameter and is expected to transport some 50 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) of dry gas to the NGL Plant, but has the capacity to push as much 120 mmscfd.
The main feature of the gas-to-shore initiative is a power plant that will generate 250 to 300 megawatts of power using natural gas from offshore, which will significantly reduce the cost of electricity in Guyana. The aim is to deliver rich gas by the end of 2024 for the power plant while the NGL facility is slated to be online by 2025.
The gas-to-shore project, which has a 25-year lifespan, is expected to employ up to 800 workers during the peak construction stage, as well as some 40 full-time workers during the operations stage, and another 50 workers during the decommissioning stage.
Currently, Guyana, Suriname, and Brazil are in talks on the establishment of an energy corridor and unlocking the potential for a series of manufacturing and industrial developments. Other Caribbean nations, such as Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados, are also looking to tap into this initiative.