The Guyana Government has announced plans to abandon the development of 165MW Amaila Falls hydropower plant in west-central region, due to concerns of cost overruns and repeated delays.
Guyanese Finance Minister Winston Jordan was quoted by Associated Press as saying that the cost would be more than double the country’s external debt.
Located approximately 250km southwest of Georgetown, the power plant was aimed to generate 165MW to provide cheaper and cleaner electricity, especially to rural jungle communities.
While presenting the $221B National Budget, Jordan said that Guyana Power and Light would be required to make $130m payments annually for 20 years to the operators of the hydro facility, which is estimated to cost almost $1bn.
These payments would cumulate to $2.6bn and excludes Guyana’s $160m funding and $65m of foreign reserves, Jordan added.
"We know now, that as configured currently, the cost of financing is too high, and that unless the price tag can be substantially lowered, we cannot proceed.
Jordan announced that the government is now planning to start feasibility studies, along with Brazilian partner, for a large hydropower development in the Mazaruni region.
The government also intends to adopt a more integrated approach over the next five years to meet the energy needs while also supporting the development of energy farms by independent power producers and suppliers and sell power to the national grid.
In addition, Guyana is planning to construct and/or promote the construction of small hydro systems in areas including Moco Moco, Kato and Tumatumari.