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Briefings on hydro-power, road-link to begin shortly

Guyana and Brazil are inching closer towards determining whether it is feasible to improve a road-link between the two countries and build a hydro-electric plant in the interior.

Delivering a statement to the House on Thursday, Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett announced that a Technical Working Group between the two countries has forwarded a report on the proposed projects to the leaders of the two South American countries.

Birkett said that under the umbrella of a Joint Commission briefings would be held with parliamentarians, communities in the Upper and Middle Mazaruni and the media on steps being taken to conduct feasibility and prefeasibility studies.

The Foreign Minister assured that no decision would be taken until the studies have been done.

Back in 2012, a memorandum of understanding was inked by both countries to examine the possibility of developing infrastructure such ithe road from Brazil to Guyana, constructing a hydro power plant and a deep water port.

Brazil is keen on developing the road and the port to take advantage of cheaper acccess of goods from Manaus to the Atlantic Ocean.

Recommendations by the Technical Working Group include the need to complete an engineeering design for the road and conduct the feasibility studies “to make a final determination on the way forward” for the hydro power plant.

The Foreign Minister said experts hoped that the private sector would assist in constructing the deep water port if there was positive interest in the road and the hydro power plant.

The Technical Working Group has since presented its report on the proposals to the Presidents of Guyana and Brazil.