Govt. sees no need for long term agreement for emergency power supply -Jagdeo

Govt. sees no need for long term agreement for emergency power supply -Jagdeo

The Government of Guyana is not interested in signing long term agreements with companies to supply emergency power, as there are major projects coming on stream that will address the power supply issues.

Speaking at his party’s press conference yesterday, second Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo said the government still believes that the Amaila falls hydro- project and the gas-to energy project are the country’s best bet to address the power woes.

He said both of those projects would come up cheaper than going outside for a long-term agreement.  In his estimation those projects will also stabilize power supply and have surplus power for the government to sell.

He said the country stands to lose tens of millions of US dollars by signing a long term power purchase agreement.

“If you sign a long-term or a five-years at US 15-Cents a Kilowatt hour, when our power plant comes in, the 300MW, and we have to turn off all of our existing units around the country in the inter-connected grid and then we have a long-term agreement with someone now for emergency power, we will still have to pay them, for power we are not using,” Mr. Jagdeo said.

For that reason, Mr. Jagdeo said, the government is not interested in signing contracts for power for emergency use between now and 2025.

He admits, that the government has been trying as far as possible to address the power issue, although there is a gap between the demand and supply. But he said the situation is not dire that warrants a long-term intervention from an outside source.

“You don’t want to lock into an agreement where you have to pay for things that we are not using, we are not the APNU, so we are not going to do that because when we look at buying power, there is a proposal from a very important company, and they want a minimum of five year agreement and when we look at the capital cost alone for twenty something megawatts in five years what we will repay, when you calculate it, we will pay back $90M on capital cost,” the Vice President calculated.

In Contrast, Mr. Jagdeo said, if the government opts to buy the same power plants, it will spend $60M less. He said the government intends to purchase those power plants to use as reserves.

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