While finally moving to explain the government’s rationale for the selection of Wales, West Bank Demerara as the site of an ambitious gas-to-shore project, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday announced plans for the associated Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and other critical studies to be undertaken this year and promised that all details will be made public.
Speaking at a news conference at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Jagdeo said financial estimates for the venture were pegged between US$500 million and US$800 million “depending on the size of the pipeline, the geotechnical surveys… all of that. Then when we go out to tender — that is the time we will know the actual cost of it.”
He was firmer on the expected benefits in terms of the cost of power, saying that it could range from some US 6 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) to US3 cents. “That means if we can, when we build the power plant, get the capital payments down to about another 3 cents or so,” he said, while noting that it is government owned, the cost would be even less, if the capital expenses aren’t amortized. “We are talking about US5 or 6 cents per kWh. Now we are selling at US30cents per kWh… You are looking at a significant reduction in energy cost. Huge! We are working through the numbers and the project is still in the preparatory stage. We are just doing studies so these are just estimates now but this is the magnitude of the studies,” he added.