Last Updated on Saturday, 20 August 2022, 1:13 by Denis Chabrol
Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo on Friday announced that bids for the estimated US$700 million gas-to-shore power plant and Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) would have to be manufactured by one of two Western companies.
He said bidders would have to propose using either Siemens or General Electric (GE) technologies, but he gave no reason for government deciding to limit its preferences to those two. “We’ve defined the technology we want to use which is Western technology- either Siemens or GE- Western technology. That has been defined so whoever the bidder is, they’d have to use technology that we are comfortable with,” he told a news conference.
According to Mr Jagdeo, the nine prequalified companies now have to submit tenders for the power plant and the NGL facility during the first week of September.
The Guyana government’s announcement came weeks after signing a memorandum of understanding for a US$2 billion line of credit from the United States Export-Import (EXIM) Bank which would see American companies taking advantage of infrastructure opportunities in this emerging oil and gas economy.
Prior to the Summit of the Americas that was held earlier this year, concerns had been raised by the US and EU that they had been losing influence in Latin America and the Caribbean to China. Guyana has in recent years been awarding multi-million dollar contracts to Chinese companies to build infrastructural projects.
The Guyana government expects the power plant, which would be built at Wales, West Bank Demerara, to be completed by 2024 and the NGL plant by 2025.
ExxonMobil is paying for the construction of the estimated US$1 billion pipeline from cost oil, and after its construction it would be insured to cater for leaks or ruptures. “We don’t know the total cost of the project,” he said. Mr Jagdeo said the route for the pipeline was still being mapped and environmental studies conducted.
ExxonMobil is expected to supply 50 million cubic feet of natural gas via the pipeline which has the capacity of up to another 80 million cubic feet per day, Mr Jagdeo said.
He restated that the cost of electricity would be reduced to 4 US cents per kilowatt hour down from 30 US cents, and cooking gas would be produced free of cost.