Guyana announces pact to build 100-MW Amaila Falls

Government, utility, and hydro development officials have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop the 100-MW Amaila Falls hydroelectric project on the Kuribrong and Amaila rivers in west central Guyana.

Guyana President Bharrat Jagdeo hailed the agreement in a joint announcement July 25. Although the project has been studied for years, he said it is now even more attactive with imported oil consuming 25 percent of the South American nation’s gross domestic product.
Developer Synergy Holdings Inc. of Guyana signed the MOU with the government and with Guyana Power &Light Co. in May. The project’s environmental assessment and design already have been completed.

Project could expand to 1,060 MW

Synergy President Makeshwar Fip Motilall said the project would initially be developed to 100 MW. However, he said it has potential for expansion to 165 MW, 410 MW, and eventually to 1,060 MW.

Prime Minister Samuel Hinds said the project would be developed on a 35-year build-own-operate-transfer basis in public-private partnership. He said financial closing and groundbreaking are set for August 1, 2007, with commercial operation set for December 2010. The agreement caps the electricity price at 7.5 U.S. cents per kWh.

The project is expected to cost US$300 million, with a third of that devoted to building transmission lines to carry power from Guyana’s remote inland to its population centers. Synergy also plans to invest US$20 million to strengthen Guyana Power &Light’s existing transmission. The developer also agreed to provide a 25-MW heavy fuel oil power plant to meet demand until Amaila Falls is on line.

For information, contact President Makeshwar Fip Motilall, Synergy Holdings Inc., 390-2 Business Parkway, Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411, USA; (1) 561-2964203; Fax: (1) 561-2965471; E-mail: fmotilall@synergyholdings.net.

Guyana hydro potential estimated at 7,000 MW

President Jagdeo led the project overview, noting Guyana has 7,000 MW of hydropower potential. He said more than 67 possible hydro sites have been identified.

“The availability of reliable and affordable electrical energy will provide the impetus for exponential growth in this great country,” he said. “… The government, therefore, continues to encourage all private participation initiatives at developing renewable energy resources and particularly hydropower in Guyana.”

While Amaila Falls is the most advanced project at this time, Jagdeo noted developer ENMAN Services Ltd. has completed a pre-feasibility study of the 1,000-MW Turtruba hydro project on the Mazaruni River. Jagdeo said those developers are pursuing a power export market to Puerto Rico via submarine cable under the Caribbean Sea.

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