Government seeking investment partners for gas-to-energy project

The Government is inviting interested parties to invest in its US$900 million gas-to-energy project in the Wales Development Zone (WDZ).

A public notice from the Ministry of Natural Resources states the WDZ was selected as the landing facility for the pipeline, following the consideration of more than 20 potential locations.

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

The pipeline, which would end in the WDZ, will measure some 225 km from the Liza area, where the natural gas is produced.

The project will see the establishment of a gas processing plant (GPP) and a natural gas liquids (NGL) facility, capable of producing at least 4,000 barrels per day, including the fractionation (or separating out) of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

The Government said a power plant will be established to generate 150 MW, with an additional 150 MW in a second phase, and that an industrial park will be established to comprise industries that could use gas, steam and/or electricity.

ExxonMobil’s local affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), has guaranteed the Government that a minimum of 50 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (mmscfd) will be transported through the pipeline by 2024. The pipeline will have a maximum capacity of 130 mmscfd.

The notice states that interested parties may apply for any of three business opportunities.

  • Joint participation with the Government and EEPGL in designing or utilising the outputs from the NGL/LPG facility and related facilities.
  • Design, construction and financing of a power plant fueled by natural gas, where the power will be delivered into the national Guyana Power and Light (NGL) grid.
  • Industries that can utilise natural gas for “natural gas drive developments and growth”. Notably, for this option Government expects applicants to propose projects with a maximum demand of 10 mmscfd, in the initial phase. However, Government has noted a preference for those utilising 1-5 mmscfd.

Prospective applicants will be expected to demonstrate sound technical and financial capabilities and track record.

The Government is currently facilitating public consultations on the gas-to-energy project, through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for persons concerned about the environmental impact.

The EPA said EEPGL applied for environmental authorisation for the project. It determined that an environmental impact assessment (EIA) would be needed for such a project, since it could have a significant impact on the environment.

Persons have been invited to share their ideas on what should be considered in the EIA. The consultations are being held virtually and in-person, but persons may also reach out directly to the EPA.

The gas-to-energy project which is expected to come on stream by late 2024, is expected to reduce Guyana’s energy sector emissions. The project will also cut electricity cost by more than half. The cost has long been regarded by the private sector as prohibitive to investments. Hence, Government expects the gas-to-energy project to revolutionise to significantly improve the ease of doing business in Guyana.