Company developing the Amaila Falls Hydro Project in Guyana to plead with Opposition and garner public support in efforts to lock in financing by the end of the year
Sithe Global, the company developing the Amaila Falls Hydro Project today said it has used up 16 million US dollars and spent its energies over the past 6 years and not for nothing. It wants the project to go ahead and today painted an almost death picture if financing is not locked in by the end of the year.
The company and the Government officials involved in the project held what was to be a public consultation today. Poor advertising may have been the reason for the poor attendance. It was only down to the first set of questions that agitation from PR consultant Kit Nascimento began. A journalist from the state-owned Guyana Chronicle wanted to the know the burden on the Guyanese taxpayers.
The Government is putting in 100 million US dollars in the project and Sithe Global, 138 million US dollars. The rest of money is being borrowed and would have to be repaid by the private company set up to sell GPL the power that would be generated at Amaila Falls. At what cost? GPL would be paying 100 million US dollars a year for the power, and if it is unable to pay, the Government would then have to dip into the Treasury to foot the Bill.
The Government’s chief negotiator in the project Winston Brassington further sought to clarify that the guarantee the Government is giving on behalf of GPL is not a total guarantee but a performance guarantee.
The Government is seeking Parliamentary approval to allow the Government to guarantee borrowing by GPL of up to US$750 million. The Opposition says it has no time for that, and contrary to what the Government and now Sithe Global Is saying, the opposition, at least the AFC, has said the IDB never said that this measure is needed to be cleared in the House for the project to go through. Further, activist Janet Bulkan questioned why there was no green paper on the project before the National Assembly and why also there was no widespread public consultations on the project, as could be expected for projects of this magnitude. The Government said the project was still in negotiation.