We are doing everything we can to save Amaila hydro project – President Ramotar

Georgetown, GINA, July 23, 2013

President Donald Ramotar during a special interview on Monday aired on the National Communications Network said that his Administration will do all that it can to bring cheap electricity to the Guyanese people  due to the fact that as a rapidly developing country, cheap electricity is a key driving force that will close many existing gaps.

“We are not giving up; we are doing everything that we can in order to save this project…we have to broaden our vision…all of the new infrastructural projects that we have embarked on have the potential to take the country’s development to another level,” the Head of State said.

“Part of the reason that we are not developing faster than we are at this point in time, is the unavailability of cheaper energy…this project (Amaila Falls Hydropower project) will have a positive impact on every single Guyanese,” the President said.

He noted that his Government is ready to hold discussions and make compromises, but maintained that a distinction has to be made between compromise and political blackmail.

The Amaila Falls project could save the country billions of dollars, which in turn can be directed towards social projects aimed at eradicating the existing pockets of poverty.

He also indicated that his Government is prepared to again hold engagements with the Opposition, making available the technical experts to rehash the details of the project.

Currently it costs the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Incorporated between 18 and 20 U.S. cents per kilowatt hour to generate electricity using heavy fuel oil, and 30 U.S. cents with the use of diesel.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the project is expected to save GPL consumers approximately US $3.5B over a period of 20 years through the reduction of tariffs. It will reduce the country’s fuel import bill by an estimated 20-25 percent resulting in savings of over US$90M on imported fuel.

Additionally, the Government will no longer have to allocate annual subsidies to the power company, as it will not be subjected to the volatility in oil prices on international market.

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