Gov’t calls for revised request for proposals for Amaila Falls project

The government, in staying true to its promise, has reinvited Requests for Proposals (RFP) under a Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) model, to advance the development of the long-awaited Amalia Falls Hydropower Project (AFHP).

According to published documents from the Prime Minister’s Office, the project will integrate and expand Guyana Power and Light’s national grid capacity to include Linden, Region 10.

Interested parties MUST submit one proposal based on a BOOT model, which includes the construction of a hydro dam, transmission lines from Amaila to Linden plus sub-stations at the Amalia site as well as upgrades and completion of roads and bridges to the site.  

According to documents, the hydro may be re-engineered to take account of changes in turbine technology thus allowing more than 165 MW to be generated and transmitted.

Responses to this RFP will be conducted in three stages:

Stage 1: Pre-Qualification of Parties capable of undertaking each of the above (hydro and transmission lines/substations. Pre-qualifications will be conducted on a rolling basis, following which pre-qualified candidates will be allowed access to the data room

Stage 2: Pre-qualified parties will be asked to provide feedback on the preliminary project structure and project documents. This response will be used to revise the initial project structure and project documents to issue the final RFP by January 31, 2024.

Stage 3: Formal RFP submissions based on the final Project Structure and Contractual documents- -due 45 days after issuance of the final Project

 The deadline for submission of pre-qualifications is November 28, 2023.  Additional details of the project are found in the daily newspaper where the RFPs are published by the Prime Minister’s Office.

The AFHP – a brainchild of the previous PPP/C administration has been on the cards since 2011. However, the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance for Change (AFC) opposition parties having majority seats in 2014, barred the project from becoming a reality.

The PPP/C outlined the resuscitation of the project in its 2020 manifesto. Fast forward to 2021, the cabinet granted a no-objection for the Prime Minister’s Office to engage the China Railway Group Limited to construct the hydro. However, discussions ended in a deadlock when the company wanted to change the model.

According to reports, the company was unable to secure the necessary financing for the BOOT model, thus the request to change the contract to an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) model. At the time Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo made it clear that the government was not keen on the EPC since the BOOT model will allow the administration to assume low risk.

He has since revealed that foreign investors from Brazil, Korea, Canada and the United States have signalled interest in advancing the development of the important project. 

The Amaila Falls project plays an important role in the government’s plan to create an energy mix to address the increase in electricity demand while phasing out dependency on fossil fuels that are contributing to global climate change.

The hydropower project coupled with the 300 megawatts (MW) Gas-to-Energy Project and the solar power project, is expected to cut electricity costs by 50 per cent, bringing with it, tremendous benefits for citizens and businesses across Guyana.