$29.4 B budgeted for energy sector

Reducing the cost of electricity by 50 per cent remains a front burner target for government. With that, the sum of $29.4 billion has been budgeted in Budget 2022 for Guyana’s energy sector. Of that sum, $20.8 billion has been budgeted for the Gas-to-Energy project.

This was disclosed by Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance Dr. Ashni Singh as he read the 2022 National Budget.

Preliminary Artist’s Impression of Natural Gas Plant (Source: EEPGL)

The gas to shore project encompasses the establishment of a power plant to generate 300 MW of power as well as a Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) plant that will cover domestic demand.

An Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the project is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2022. Minister Singh said through a transparent procurement process, a firm is expected to be selected with construction expected to start in the third quarter of 2022 and be completed in 2024.

Construction of the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project is also expected to commence this year producing an estimated 165 MW.

Major investments are also being proposed in budget 2022 for the establishment of solar farms in several parts of the country.

The sum of $1.1 billion is being budgeted for the completion of solar farms in Bartica, Region Three, Wakenaam, Region Three and Lethem, Region Nine. The farms will be producing 1.5 MW, 0.75 MW and 1.0 MW respectively.

“We have also 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 Moco Moco hydropower plant in Region 9. Over $600M is budgeted for the construction of both projects in 2022,” the Minister stated.

Further, the sum of $1.4 billion has been budgeted for 33 MWs solar farms for Berbice, Essequibo, and Linden.

A solar farm

The finance minister said over $170 million 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.

Tenders will also go out for a 0.6 MW solar farm at Leguan, Region Three and a 0.65 MW farm at Mahdia, Region Eight.

Added to that, 0ver $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.

Minister Singh also said $1.6 billion is budgeted for the construction of a parallel transmission line linking the Kingston and the New Sophia substations. This also includes the upgrade of the existing L5 transmission line, and other works aimed at reducing transmission losses and maintaining desired system voltage level.

Budget 2022 was read under the theme “Steadfast against all challenges; resolute in building our one Guyana.”