Gov’t will continue working to bring Amaila project to reality -President reassures in face of speculation
Georgetown, GINA, August 9, 2013
In the face of speculation over the future of the Amaila Falls Hydro Power (AFHP) project, following the AFC and APNU’s action in the National Assembly on Wednesday, President Donald Ramotar is reassuring the nation that Government will continue to work with stakeholders to bring the project to fruition.
The Head of State this evening said that despite efforts to keep the Political Opposition informed about the transformational project, holding public outreaches and the subsequent passage of the necessary legislation via the National Assembly, the AFHP project is still in jeopardy.
The President said that the danger is now “largely because our requirements were not met, one of the opposition parties voted against it and the other one very belatedly came out in support of it. They did not come up to the level of the debt ceiling that was required for the project itself so that is where the project is, in a lot of uncertainty at this time.”
While the AFC supported the government in order that the Hydro-Electric Power (Amendment) Bill was given passage, the Government’s motion to increase the debt ceiling on external loans to $130B was amended by the same party to $50B. The proposed sum was to ensure the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) meets its financial obligations with the Amaila Falls Hydro Incorporated, under the Power Purchase Agreement. The APNU voted against the bill.
The president said that government was warning about this all along, noting that they presented all the information requested to the Parliamentary parties, the Alliance for Change (AFC) and the A Partnership For National Unity (APNU), and the private sector was engaged on the issue.
The Head of State reiterated that the hydro project is of great importance to Guyana. “We pointed out to everyone that as soon as this project is built, the charges to the public and commercial sector will be cut by 40%. Ten years after, it will be cut by 70% of what they’re paying today and 20 years from now when this project will be handed over it will be cut by 91%. This of course will have huge possibilities for the development of our country, for the attraction of the manufacturing sector, for the creation of jobs for our young people and for the rapid expansion of our economy to give us the bridges and roads that we need to develop our society at a great rate.”
For these aforementioned reasons, the President said that, “I will exert, together with all my ministers and the Cabinet as a whole, we will work hard to try to do what we can to save this project and also try to expand it, try to get this project on stream because it of importance to the development of the country”.