Russians study smelter, hydro project in Guyana

Guyana President Bharrat Jagdeo says Russian aluminum giant RUSAL is studying the feasibility of building a hydroelectric plant, alumina refinery, and aluminum smelter in Guyana.

Jagdeo returned from Russia where he met President Vladimir Putin and Oleg Deripaska, owner of RUSAL, the world’s No. 3 aluminum producer.

“I met with President Putin … and he said to me that he and his government are committed to the development of this project and the Russian company’s involvement in Guyana,” Jagdeo told a February 7 news conference.

He added RUSAL would be sending a delegation to Guyana by early March. If the company decides the projects are feasible, it would start work before the end of 2011.

RUSAL is already active in Guyana, running a bauxite joint venture at Aroaima.

In 2006, Guyana’s Government Information Agency said RUSAL was considering establishment of a hydropower station on Guyana’s upper Mazaruni River. Previously, developer ENMAN Services Ltd. completed a pre-feasibility study of the 1,000-MW Turtruba hydro project on the Mazaruni. (HNN 7/28/06)

The South American nation has 7,000 MW of hydropower potential, with more than 67 possible hydro sites identified. In November, developer Amaila Hydro Power Co. recruited contractors for 100-MW Amaila Falls on the Kuribrong and Amaila rivers. (HNN 11/21/06)

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