APNU not budging on Amaila project

APNU not budging on Amaila project

A 7:00 am call to the Opposition Leader by the President on a Sunday morning has not budged the APNU’s decision to not support the Amaila Falls Hydro Power project in its current form.

The projects developer, American company Sithe Global announced its decision to pull out of the project over the weekend citing the lack of “national consensus”. Sithe Global’s move came even after the National Assembly passed the Amaila Falls Hydro Power Bill with approval from the Government and the Alliance For Change. The APNU voted against the Bill claiming that it still had concerns about the feasibility of the project and its financing.

President Donald Ramotar in a last-ditch effort to get the APNU to support the project called the APNU and Opposition Leader David Granger early on Sunday morning in the hope that he could get the Partnership to change its position. Granger said he remained unmoved since the President offered nothing new and held onto the same points that have not been able to add clarity to the debate on the issue.  Mr. Granger said the APNU is only prepared to support an “efficient hydro power development project”.

According to the Leader of the Opposition, the APNU voted against the Amaila Falls Bill because ” it is not prepared to support a project the financial architecture of which is likely to condemn Guyanese to excessive indebtedness.”

He said “the Partnership cannot support a project which will fail to provide assurance that the final cost of power to the consumer will be appreciably lower than the currently tariff”.

The Opposition party has said that “no comprehensive document on the AFHP has ever been presented for debate in the National Assembly” as such the APNU found it impossible to give its unequivocal support for a project “when only two peripheral matters had been presented for debate. The Partnership iterates its concerns about the financial arrangements for the project, the final tariff to average consumers, design of the plant, the final cost of the project and GPL’s ability to deliver electricity to consumers.”

The Opposition Leader believes that there is need for more explanations on the project and his party does not have a problem waiting on a due diligence report to be completed by the Inter American Development Bank.

As for the Sithe Global position that it pulled out because of the lack of National Consensus, the Opposition Leader said his party has been in all of the regions and in over 60 communities meeting with people and discussing the project. APNU Member of Parliament Carl Greenidge said Sithe Global would have its interest but the National interest as seen by the Opposition should not be dismissed.


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