Some months ago a company called Synergy told this
nation that they were going to build a hydro electric power station at Amaila's
Falls in the convolution of the Kuribung and Amaila rivers in the Potaro river
basin. They told us that the project will cost them 320 million US dollars.
Synergy is a conglomerate of Guyanese and US investors abroad including the Hazra
Group, a world renowned hydroelectric dam contractor, who built among other
things the Guri Dam in Venezuela. So their bona fides are good.
They approached the Environmental Protection Agency and
were instructed to prepare an environmental impact assessment study which they
did and which was submitted to the EPA on December 2001.
The EPA approved the project after studying it and found
no significant adverse impact on the Macro environment.
This means that as of 29th July 2002 Synergy was given the environmental go ahead to commence the construction of this
hydro electric power station by the government of Guyana through a license
dated 29th July 2002.
This hydropower installation is estimated to produce 100
megawatts in the first instance but will have the capacity to generate 150
Megawatts later if required.
Not hearing anything further on the matter, and since I
have always felt that hydropower was the salvation of this nation, I decided to
What, I asked myself, could possibly be denying this
country and its citizens the capability to enhance our productive sector, our
manufacturing sector and our economic growth as a nation.
The first thing I learnt was that Synergy had informed
our Honorable Prime Minister that they can deliver electricity to Sophia within
4 years of today's date, if given the go ahead, at a cost of thirteen dollars
and thirty cents Guyana per kilowatt, we Guyanese are currently paying 47
dollars per kilowatt to GP&L.
But these investors need an agreement with GP&L to
buy at least 50 megawatts of power from synergy, since it makes no business sense
building a hydroelectric power station when you cannot sell electricity to
anyone. ESBI and GP&L have refused to sit down and discuss the purchase of
this power from Synergy.
Now I want to remind the public that GP&L currently generate
100 Megawatts of power. So it is strange indeed that they cannot contract to buy
50 megawatts of power from Synergy at this low rate, which consumes no foreign
exchange and which will benefit this nation in such a significant way.
Every story has a villain, and the villain of this piece
is of course our rapacious friends at GP&L, they have come up with every
conceivable excuse why we should not get involved in the purchase of this hydro
power from Synergy at a fraction of the current cost of their generation, using
expensive fossil fuel generators. They have objected because it will upset
their obnoxious deal with Sam Hinds and reduce their profits, I say their deal
with Sam Hinds personally and not this nation, since this deal with them never
saw the light of day in our parliament, before it was consummated. That alone
renders the GP&L deal void. We are still getting blackouts and that also
renders the agreement void. In fact since they have not fixed the distribution
system and reduced the technical line loss of 42%, 3 years after they took over
GEC and since electrical rates have skyrocketed, we should sue them for repudiatory
breaches of their agreement. It is not only Sam Hinds ladies and gentlemen, we
do not have a proper legal system in this country, they broke several aspects
of the contract with us and they failed to deliver a proper and affordable
service, so they should pay us.
Telling us that purchasing 50 Megawatts of power from
this Hydroelectric plant is unrealistic since we do not need that amount of
power is absolute nonsense, shut down the diesel generators at Garden of Eden
and Kingston and keep them as standby, they are worthless otherwise and to hell
with ESBI's bottom line, but since these generators will no longer be required
to run on a daily basis and ESBI'S obnoxious management contract to service,
run and maintain these huge fossil fuel guzzlers at the exorbitant fees we now
pay them in management fees, their contract will have to be re-examined, since
all they will have to do is maintain the distribution system, that is why they
have refused to look at this matter.
Whenever cheap power is available, the business community
will find a way of harnessing it for development, this means that jobs will be
created, this means that investment in manufacturing will step up, this means
that rice millers and many other large companies will buy power from the
utility cheaper than by generating it themselves. this has to be the only
country on the planet where you can generate your own power cheaper than the
power company, it also means ladies and gentlemen that if your light bill is now
say 12,000 Guyana dollars per month, it can go down to 6000 Guyana dollars per
month and in 12 years it can go down to as low as G$3000 per month. Since
Synergy tells us that they can contract to deliver power to Sophia at 7 US
cents per kilowatt and after 12 years they can deliver it at 4 US cents per
The people at GP&L seem to be totally oblivious to
the fact that major businesses in this country are being forced to generate
their own power, since they cannot afford to pay the unconscionably high rates
that GP&L is now charging them. Every time a large company comes off the
grid, the electricity rate for the common consumer rises. Any fool should know
GP&L must be forced to buy this power from this
hydroelectric plant, this enormous financial burden on the Guyanese people for electricity
must stop, the eye pass must stop, they must be forced to stop thinking that
all Guyanese are fools.
When and IF this government decides to build a proper
road to Brazil this country will be receiving raw goods from Brazil which can
be processed to our mutual benefit here in Guyana, before it is shipped
elsewhere, that is how you create jobs, that is how you create wealth and that
is how you fight crime.
To do this we need cheap reliable power, what we do not
need is ESBI messing up the works to our detriment for their own agenda.
Finally ladies and gentlemen this government told the World
Bank that they will reduce poverty in this nation by implementing the National Development
Strategy, well Mr. Hinds on Page 75 of the NDS paragraph 220.127.116.11. it says and I
quote it "it is evident that hydro power represents a major economic endowment
and opportunity for Guyana both as a primary source of power for domestic
consumption and as the hub around which the development of the country's
economic potential could revolve, it would seem from the available data that
priority should be given to the development of Amelia, the utilization of which
would enable the establishment of industries such as the smelting of aluminum,
and yet leave sufficient excess capacity to serve the rest of Guyana's domestic
and industrial needs for some time to come. It is also clear that urgent
attention should be given to the promotion of investment in mining and other
energy intensive areas of Guyana's economy" end quote. As usual this government
is saying one thing and doing something completely different. I will keep this
matter in front of the public every week, personally and through the Evening News
until Mr. Hinds remembers that he is the Prime Minister of Guyana and not
The people of this nation must wake up, you have rights
and you have power... why can't you stand up, all of you, as one people, and