“Strategic discussions” on regional energy corridor set for January 2022 – President Ali

His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali has announced that the “strategic discussions” amongst Guyana, Suriname, Brazil and French Guiana regarding the regional energy corridor are set to happen in January, 2022. The President shared this in his key note address to the Guyana Manufacturers and Services Association’s (GMSA) 25th annual presentation and award ceremony, held at the Princess Hotel, Friday evening.

The Head of State also shared that the French Republic has asked to be a part of these discussions.

President Dr. Irfaan Ali addressing the gathering at the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association 25th Annual Presentation of Awards Ceremony

He went on to add that the development of the Corentyne River Bridge that Guyana and Suriname are pursuing makes way for massive opportunities. Already, the Guyana and Suriname governments have taken steps to procure a sophisticated contractor to construct this crossing.

“In the energy corridor, we want to have the development of the Corentyne River frontier, and that includes the Corentyne River bridge. On our side, we have tremendous opportunities because of one of the largest deposits of A-grade bauxite is here.

With the energy from natural gas, we are talking about the development of aluminum, linking the deep-water harbour. Now, overnight a project that was not viable becomes viable. The deep-water harbour by itself could not be viable, but the deep-water with this becomes extremely viable and lucrative,” the President articulated.

Recent hydrocarbon discoveries in the Guyana-Suriname basin include significant gas reserves that have renewed interest in the corridor. Guyana intends to pipe gas to shore from the Liza field to substitute its current oil-fired power generation. The Liza field was the first significant oil find offshore Guyana.

The Arco Norte Region and Proposed Interconnection (Source: Inter-American Development Bank)

The Government is also operationalising plans for renewable energy projects to support its intention of creating a cleaner energy mix. The energy corridor would see the countries teaming-up to share power based on a collective understanding of their needs and ability to supply. President Ali had said that the operationalisation of this plan would require development of local knowledge and capacity in the area of logistics.

The project had been under discussion for several years, as the Inter-American Development Bank conducted baseline and pre-feasibility studies in 2016 and 2017 on what it calls the ‘Arco Norte Electrical Interconnection.’

The Bank had stated that the main benefits of such a project would be lower-cost generation for all countries involved; potentially lowered electricity prices for consumers in Guyana and Suriname; more secure supply; reduced carbon dioxide emissions and export earnings, especially for Guyana.

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