Rehab of Moco Moco Hydro Project to commence soon – Harmon
Even as the Amaila Falls Hydro Project is being reviewed for its viability, Government is looking to develop small hydro systems to generate electricity in the hinterland region.
In this vain, Minister of State Joseph Harmon disclosed that Cabinet on Tuesday gave its no objection for the commencement of works on the Moco Moco Hydro Project which is located in Lethem, Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo).
“Cabinet deliberated extensively on those matters and did in fact give its no objection to the Ministry of Public Infrastructure proceeding on the Moco Moco Hydro Project for which there is international funding so that we expect within a short space of time that that project will be done. In fact, work has already started on the design and so on,” Harmon noted.
According to the Minister, this project will see residents in Lethem and surrounding areas benefiting from higher quality and more reliable electricity supply.
He also pointed out that it will also pave the way for industrial development in the region.
“We expect that the incentives which will be given, in so far as providing electricity to those areas, will spur a different type of development and encourage more Guyanese to migrate to some of these areas. We believe that the beauty of Guyana resides in some of those hinterland locations where many of us who live on the caost sometimes deny ourselves that opportunity of seeing what Guyana really is,” the Minister outlined.
The rehabilitation of the Moco Moco Hydro Project is estimated to cost $200 million.
The 500 kW Moco Moco Hydropower station was built in 1999 but became inoperable in 2003 following a landslide in the area. However, with Government’s new drive to have hydropower generation facilities located throughout the hinterland, steps were taken last year to have the Moco Moco Hydropower plant, along with several others, up and running.
Back in April, some five foreign-based companies submitted bids for the rehabilitation and operation of the facility after the Public Infrastructure Ministry had asked for Expressions of Interest (EoI) in keeping with Government’s plans to develop a ‘Green Economy’.
Under a Build, Own, Operate, Transfer (BOOT) structure, power will be supplied to the Lethem Power Company grid under a negotiated and agreed Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
The EoI was initially published in January 2016 and the submissions were opened on March 31, 2016 at the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) Head Office.
Among the five submissions were CHEA – Centrias Hidreletricas da Amazonia LTDA – ME (Brazil); NCGET (Russia); Torque – EPCM (Barbados) and two from McVantage Products out of the USA.
Government had declared the rehabilitation of the station to be a priority project in order to strengthen the Lethem Power Company, which supplies electricity in the vicinity of Lethem, and to substitute the diesel consumption with renewable energy with the aim of improving performance of the company through cost-effective solutions and the maximum possible annual energy production.
The rehabilitation of the Moco Moco Hydropower station is touted as another initiative of the Government of Guyana as part of a holistic approach to sustainable economic growth which demonstrates its commitment to creating a climate resilient economy and the establishing of a green economy.
Meanwhile, in addition to the rehabilitation of the Moco Moco Hydro Project, Cabinet also approved the construction of the Kato Hydro Electricity Project. However, Minister Harmon did not elaborate on this except to say that the Kato development will see electricity going as far as Paramakatoi. He added that this project will cater for the installation of an electricity facility as well as transmission lines to be run to developing communities.
Additionally, Cabinet also had discussions on the Tumatumari Hydro Electricity Project.