Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
The Government of Guyana and LINDSAYCA/CH4 on Tuesday signed the contract for the construction of the integrated Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) Plant and the 300-megawatt (MW) combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant at Wales, West Bank Demerara (WBD), Region Three.
The historical signing of the contract for the US$759 million project took place at the Office of the President, Shiv Chanderpaul Drive. It was witnessed by President Irfaan Ali, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo and Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips.
During his remarks, President Ali said the transformational project will unlock enormous economic opportunities for Guyana.
He further noted the initiative will help to build the local capacity, particularly among the young people involved, especially during the initial stages of the project’s implementation.
“This is the largest project that we would have embarked on as a country and that brings with it its own challenges but it also gives us an opportunity to build capacity,” he said.
President Ali made it clear that the project does not slow down the government’s commitment to the Amaila Falls Hydro Power project. He said it instead forms part of the administration’s energy masterplan that is national and regional in nature.
Vice President, Jagdeo reiterated the administration’s commitment to ensuring the project is developed along the highest international standards at the environmental, procurement, engineering, tendering, and evaluation stages.
“Given the importance of this project, its size and its transformative nature, we had to get this right and we believe that with this contractor LINDSAYCA/CH4 combination, that they will deliver on the project,” he asserted.
Dr Jagdeo said the project is in keeping with the PPP/C Government’s manifesto promise to deliver cheaper and reliable electricity to Guyanese and aligns with the country’s low carbon approach.
“This project will allow us to decarbonise the energy sector along with hydro coming soon and solar panels already tendered for to triple installed capacity and cut emissions by 70 per cent,” he pointed out.
However, the project has faced serious criticism about the environmental impact and who is being awarded to. Shadow Minister of Legal Affairs Roysdale Forde SC, yesterday at the Opposition press conference, stated the company LINDSAYCA, is a Venezuela company. A search of the company’s website said it was “Founded in 1995 through private equity and family ownership, LINDSAYCA has rapidly expanded initially in Venezuela, providing services to both state- and privately-owned clients in the upstream and downstream energy sector.” Further, the shadow minister questioned not only the government not sharing the information with the public but the wisdom of entering such a business arrangement in light of the Guyana/Venezuela border controversy and implications for the health of the nation.
Environmental advocate and Geologist Simone Mangal-Joly, in an interview with Kaieteur News, said: “Nowhere in the world can you put a power plant and an NGL plant and a pipeline over ground water and it never gets seriously impacted. Basic common sense will tell you that upset conditions of spills etc. over the 30-year-life of such heavily polluting industries put the groundwater at high risk. And this is our most prized groundwater aquifer. Guyana’s coastal water supply comes mainly from the A Sand Aquifer, which lies below the Wales Estate.”
Mangal-Joly also pointed out the implication for health, advising when hydrocarbon pollutants get into the water supply, they remain there permanently, and are cancerous, making the water unsafe for consumption.
Jagdeo has dismissed concerns about the environmental impact.