Study begins on 4,500 MW Mazaruni hydro projects
Two Brazilian companies have teamed up to carry out pre-feasibility and feasibility studies of constructing hydro power plants in Middle and Upper Mazaruni. The two companies are spending US$45 million in the pre-feasibility and feasibilities studies. The government here hopes that if the project is deemed technically possible and economically viable, then funding for the two hydropower projects would come from the Brazilian development Bank. Minister of Foreign Affairs Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkette explained the arrangements for financing being discussed.
The pre-feasibility study and then a full feasibility study could take about two years. The government has set about a wide-ranging consultation process and has already et with Amerindian communities in the Mazaruni region. A hydropower project was attempted in the Mazaruni region in the 1970s and the fears of the Amerindian communities at that time remain today, as the Prime Minister and a team found out recently.
The hydropower projects in the Mazaruni are being pursued in cooperation with Brazil. The government is mindful that the region is still claimed by Venezuela.
Guyana is the only country in South America without hydropower. The possibility is being explored as way to cut down on the country’s enormous fuel bill, which last year added up to over half a billion US dollars.