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… GPL to get $1.6B for construction of transmission line linking Kingston, Sophia substations
As part of the $552.9B National Budget, the Irfaan Ali Administration has set aside $29.4B to finance its Energy Expansion and Diversification Programme of which $20.8B will go directly towards theexecution of the Gas-to-Energy Project in 2022.
“Mr. Speaker, inadequate, unreliable, costly, and environmentally unfriendly energy has been the bane of Guyana’s industrial development as well as of our citizens’ daily existence for as long as we can remember,” Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh said as he presented the budget.
The Gas-to-Energy Project, he posited, is designed to reduce the cost of electricity.
“This project will allow us to phase out the use of expensive and carbon-intensive heavy fuel oil and is targeted to reduce costs substantially below the current levels. This project encompasses the establishment of a power plant to generate 300MW of power as well as a Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) plant that will cover domestic demand. The project also entails the construction of a 225 km 12” pipeline to transport the guaranteed minimum of 50 mmcfd of natural gas from offshore Guyana to the Wales Development Authority,” he explained.
Currently, geotechnical and geophysical works for both offshore and onshore operations are advancing with portions already completed. It was noted that an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2022.
“Utilising a transparent procurement process it is expected that the firm selected would be able to engineer, procure and construct the Power Plant and NGL Plant along with related facilities,” Minister Singh said while adding that construction is expected to commence in the third quarter of 2022. The project is scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2024.
The Government is also bent on executing its Amelia Falls Hydropower Project, which when completed, is expected to have a capacity of 165 MW.
“We have requested, received, and evaluated proposals for this project, and negotiations are underway with the highest ranked company which is an experienced international company,” the Finance Minister told the House.
The project will be developed under a build-own operate-transfer (BOOT) arrangement within which the Guyana Power and Light Incorporated (GPL) will purchase power from the operator under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Government anticipates that construction will begin in 2022, and be completed by 2027.
In the case of the Guyana Power and Light (GPL), $1.6B has been budgeted for the construction of a parallel transmission line linking the Kingston and the New Sophia substations, the upgrade of the existing L5 transmission line, and other works aimed at reducing transmission losses and maintaining desired system voltage levels.
It was pointed out that in 2021, GPL successfully rehabilitated over 600 km of medium/low voltage distribution network.
“We have also implemented a “transformer module” in GPL’s customer information system. Both interventions will serve to better manage electricity loss in the grid,” he told the House.
The National Assembly, on Wednesday, was also informed the Government has advanced the process for the construction of a 1.5 MW hydropower plant at Kumu, and for rehabilitation and upgrade to 700kW capacity of the defunct MocoMoco hydropower plant in Region 9 – both of which will be financed to tune of $600M plus in 2022.
Additionally, over $170M has been budgeted for the completion of the 150kW hydropower scheme at Kato and for 30,000 photovoltaic home systems for hinterland and riverain areas. According to the Finance Minister, the solar mini-grid and off-grid solutions are the most viable options to ensure unserved and underserved hinterland regions are energised.
“Likewise, $1.1 billion is budgeted for solar farm interventions in 2022. These include the completion of the 1.5 MW solar farm at Bartica, 0.75 MW at Wakenaam and the 1.0 MW at Lethem. We will also tender for a 0.6 MW solar farm at Leguan and a 0.65 MW farm at Mahdia later this year. Over $450 million has been budgeted to expand and upgrade the hinterland electrification and power generation capacity through the purchase of generators and the expansion of distribution lines,” he announced.
Additionally, in 2022 over 22,000 LED bulbs and over 12,000 LED tubes will be installed in homes, businesses and government buildings at Bartica, Linden, Leguan and Wakenaam at no cost to consumers.
“This initiative is anticipated to remove over 500 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from the environment,” Minister Singh posited.
Further, the Government will be piloting the installation of fast charging stations for electric vehicles in Regions 3, 4 and 6 so as to encourage the use of low or zero carbon vehicles.