Govt spends $9.6B on Wales Gas to Energy project

A total of $9.6 billion has been spent in the first half of 2023 from the $43.3 billion allocated this year to advance construction of the gas-to-energy project at Wales, in Region Three.

The Ministry of Finance’s Mid-Year Report pointed out that the provision of reliable, efficient, and sustainable energy remains a priority of the government, and that work continues steadily in this regard.

The $9.6 billion encompassed expenditure related to the development of the material offloading facility, the heavy haul road, and preparatory works at the 100-acre site to prepare for the power plant and the integrated natural gas facilities.

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

The gas-to-energy project in the Wales Development Zone is the largest investment made in Guyana’s electricity sector. It is expected to cut electricity costs in half, bringing much-needed relief to Guyanese, as well as provide a multitude of employment opportunities.

The project will see Guyana transitioning to a cheaper and more sustainable natural gas reserve. A 200-kilometre (km) pipeline will transport gas from the Liza Phase One and Liza Phase Two Floating, Production, Storage, and Offloading (FPSO) vessels in the Stabroek Block to the power plant and Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) facility.

At the facility, the gas will be treated to extract natural gas liquids for commercialisation. The leftover dry gas will be used in a 300-megawatt power plant to produce energy for home usage.

Meanwhile, the mid-year report also highlighted that the Guyana Power and Light (GPL), has made strides in increasing the reliability of its service. In the first half of this year, about 118 inefficient transformers have been replaced, with plans to replace another 171 in the second half of 2023.

On the side of Guyana’s transition to clean energy sources, a 1.5 megawatt (MW) solar farm was commissioned in Bartica in the first half of the year. This facility is expected to supply 1,988 megawatt-hours (MWh) to the grid, significantly reducing fuel consumption.

According to the report, the solar farm forms part of the wider initiative aimed at adding 3.75-megawatt peak (MWp) of renewable electricity to Lethem, Bartica, Mahdia, and Leguan.

Additionally, the 2023 budget outlined a commitment to rolling out the 30,000 solar photovoltaics (PV) home lighting systems to the hinterland and riverain areas. In the first half of this year, 12,000 solar home energy PV units were manufactured and these are expected to be delivered to Guyana in the third quarter for distribution.