Guyana nixes plans for 165-MW Amaila Falls hydropower project

The Guyana government has abandoned plans to develop the 165-MW Amaila Falls hydroelectric plant, citing numerous delays and potential cost overruns.

The project was to have been Guyana’s first major hydropower plant and would have been located about 250 kilometers southwest of the capital city on the Kuribrong River.

Preliminary estimates reported in 2008 put the price of the plant between US$400 million and $500 million, with financing to have been provided by sources including the Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank and New York-based Sithe Global.

Sithe, which signed an agreement with the China Railway First Group (CRFG) in September 2012 to help co-finance Amaila Falls, had already invested at least $16 million in preparatory work before fully withdrawing its support for the project in August 2013.

The Guyanese government will now begin planning feasibility studies for a new large hydropower project in the country’s northwestern region, according to Finance Minister Winston Jordan, who also said smaller regionalized plants will also likely be a consideration.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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