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Ramotar: Still hope for Amaila project

President Donald Ramotar

 

Saying there is a small window of time for the country’s leaders to rise to the occasion and to make a decision on the Amaila project that is based on patriotism, not partisanship, President Donald Ramotar on Sunday said he has been holding talks with Opposition Leader David Granger to save the project.

 

On Sunday, Sithe Global, the identified developer, announced it was pulling out of the project, citing a lack of consensus by the parliamentary parties.

 

Ramotar in a statement released Sunday afternoon said all Guyanese will be aware of the latest negative developments concerning the Amaila Falls project, and the intention of Sithe Global’s withdrawal because of lack of political support from all parties in the National Assembly.

Opposition Leader  David Granger

Opposition Leader David Granger

 

“Yet, even at this late hour, there is a small window of time for our country’s leaders to rise to the occasion and to make a decision on Amaila that is based on patriotism, not partisanship. As president of this country, I will honour my duty to represent all Guyanese – and I will keep working to find a way forward as long as I believe that progress is still possible,” he said.

 

Support

 

According to the president, Sunday morning he spoke with Granger and “urged him once again to join him in showing support for the Amaila Falls project, for our country’s future development and for the life opportunities of generations of Guyanese. I will try to continue this engagement with Granger in the hours ahead, and I told him that my door remains open, as it always has been”.

 

However, the president said the debate about the Amaila project is not helped by the volume of uninformed speculation in recent weeks, despite two opportunities to debate the project in Parliament, and the public availability of information over many months. He said decisions on matters such as this – which are so important to the country’s future – should be based on facts, and not made as a result of speculation or political partisanship. “All our political parties know that they have been equipped with the information they need to reach a decision on Amaila Falls.”

 

According to him, the facts are clear. He noted that currently the Guyana Power and Light Company (GPL) incurs an electricity generating cost of 19 U.S. cents per kilowatt hour (kWh).  With the Amaila Falls project, GPL’s cost of electricity can be dramatically reduced to 11 U.S cents per kWh in the first 12 years, 40 per cent less than today; 5.6 U.S. cents per kWh in the next 80 years, paid 71 per cent less than today; and 1.8 U.S. cents per kWh for the following 80 years, 91 per cent less than today

 

As a result, the Amaila project can reduce electricity bills for Guyanese consumers and businesses as average tariffs for consumers will come down by at least 20 per cent within two years of commercial operation of the hydro, eliminating the need for Guyanese taxpayers to subsidise GPL.

 

Subsidy

 

In 2012, the subsidy cost taxpayers over $6 billion. This will no longer be needed, and the money can be invested in other important national priorities such as roads, schools and hospitals, greatly reducing Guyana’s dependence on foreign oil, and insulate the economy from the risk of rising oil prices.

 

Unlike oil, the price of Amaila’s electricity will go down over the next 20 years, significantly reducing black-outs. To avoid outages, the plant has four individual units and full redundancy in the auxiliary systems; two transmission lines, each capable of transmitting 100 per cent of the plant’s output, transforming Guyana’s electricity sector from being fully oil-dependent to one built on clean, renewable energy.

 

As the flagship of the Low Carbon Development Strategy, Amaila will enable reductions in Guyana’s greenhouse gases from electricity generation by approximately 90 per cent, support business growth in the processing and manufacturing industries, and create new jobs – sending a positive message to large global investors that Guyana is open for investment and set a new standard for the size of investment possible in Guyana. The plant will be fully paid for by the sale of electricity – at prices far cheaper than today; be fully-owned by the people of Guyana 20 years after operations begin and will provide affordable, reliable energy for generations.

 

“As has been made clear over the last week, one political party has not yet come out in support of our people gaining access to these benefits. Yet in the coming hours and days, I hope that we will see a broadening spirit of patriotism and compassion for hardworking Guyanese. If we see this spirit of patriotism and compassion emerge, I will do my utmost as president to get this project back on track in the hours ahead,” Ramotar said.

 

Source: http://www.guyanatimesgy.com/?p=26954



Category/ies:Guyana News, News.
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