Chairman of the Private Sector Commission (PSC), Paul Cheong has said that the highly-anticipated Amaila Falls Hydropower Project (AFHP) will be a “huge benefit” to businesses operating in the manufacturing and industrial sectors. He shared these comments during an interview on the National Communications Network (NCN), Thursday afternoon.
“Energy is a very important aspect of business and any household. Energy costs are a component of your costs. To be competitive you need to be efficient and you also need your costs to be as low as possible, and we see this project a as huge benefit to the private sector,” Cheong explained.
He said further, that the project would significantly reduce energy costs in households, thereby putting money back into the pockets of all Guyanese.
Cheong said, “It would also help to make other manufacturing entities or products feasible that currently face hardships, because of the current energy costs. We expect that with this project coming on board and the realisation of this project, that there will be a big boost, a big boom in the private sector in terms of manufacturing, exports which would lead to your products becoming competitive on the international market.”
Notably, the project will add 165 megawatts (MW) of energy to the grid with construction slated to begin in 2022 and completed by 2021.
Just recently, Cabinet granted its ‘no objection’ for the Office of the Prime Minister to engage China Railway Group Limited to construct AFHP based on a Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) model whereby the company will supply electricity to the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) 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.
Meanwhile, the Minister within the Ministry of Public Works reminded Guyanese that the massive development will benefit all of Guyana. During an interview on NCN, he noted that the AHFP will add some 165 megawatts (MW) of energy to the grid.
Cabinet’s no objection follows the publication of a request for proposals by the government in various newspapers during the period July to August 2021. While four companies submitted proposals, China Railway Group Limited was identified as the most ‘capable partner’ after a rigorous evaluation process.
Minster Indar explained, “$0.77 cents is far cheaper than what we produce power at right now… This is cheap reliable power and it’s one of the projects that fits into our Low Carbon Development Strategy on our net-zero position going into the future. One, it is good for the people’s pocket because it will be cheaper electricity to them;(and) it is good for the planet because it is renewable energy.”
The project will also support initiatives such as the electrification of transport and e-mobility and accelerate the development of a robust ICT sector needed for an interconnected world, as well as a competitive manufacturing sector. The minister underscored that the hydropower project is quite feasible and recalled that various studies have since justified and strongly supported its construction.