Budget 2023: $43.4B for gas-to-energy project to facilitate transition to renewable energy

In the 2023 budget, $43.4 billion has been allocated for the advancement of the Wales Gas-to-Energy project, set to significantly lower the cost of electricity, triggering rapid growth in industrial activity, and promoting a smooth transition to renewable energy sources countrywide.

Senior Minister within the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh has reiterated the government’s dedication to catapulting the country into the 21st century and reducing its reliance on fossil fuel significantly.

An artist impression of the Wales Gas-to-Energy project

The finance minister was delivering his presentation of the 2023 National Budget on Monday.

He emphasised the need for renewable energy sources, amid the challenges posed by the country’s current outdated system.

“For decades, ordinary consumers and businesses alike have been complaining about the state of our aged and ailing power supply system. Industrial business activities have been constrained. We have crafted an energy matrix that looks well beyond today’s needs and which will cater for strong forecasted future demand.

“In keeping with our manifesto promised to produce more than 200 megawatts of electricity from natural gas, our government has signed a contract for the construction of the integrated natural gas liquids plant and the 300-megawatt combined cycle gas turbine power plant within the Wales development zone,” he told the House.

This project is the single largest investment in the electricity sector. The administration’s manifesto promise featured a dedication to developing measures to decarbonise the economy, especially the transport sector.

The minister also noted several measures to be taken to enhance the dissemination of electricity countrywide, “Additionally, 413 km of new distribution lines and feeders, a new 69-kilovolt transmission line from Kingston to Sophia, and from Edinburgh to Hydronie, new and rehabilitated substations at Hydronie, Sophia, Colombia, Canefield, and No. 53 village, and the replacement of 320 inefficient transformers will all be realised in 2023.”

Further, the minister made note of the derailed Amaila Falls Hydropower project under the previous administration, cheating Guyanese out of reliable and renewable energy, and disclosed that to this end, 2023 will see the relaunch of the request for proposals for the project, with a vision of restarting and ultimately realising it.

Additional hydropower facilities will also be explored, especially in hinterland communities. He highlighted that these endeavours are financed by resources earned by Guyana under its Low Carbon Development Strategy 2030, which builds on the first LCDS, launched by former President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo in 2009.

Some $1.8 billion is budgeted specifically for the hinterland project, which will see some 30,000 households in the hinterland and riverine areas benefitting from solar PV lighting systems.

The 2022 budget allocation saw some $29.4 billion set aside for the energy sector, with $20.8 billion for the project. 

Budget 2023 is being presented under the theme: Improving lives today, building prosperity for tomorrow.