Amaila Falls hydro on IDB radar again – President

The controversial Amaila Falls Hydropower Project (AFHP) is once again being examined by the board of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and they will hopefully be wrapping up soon, President Donald Ramotar says.

“As far as I know (the project) is back with the IDB Board and hopefully (the) IDB Board will be concluding on that in the not too distant future,” the president said at a news conference yesterday. He was hopeful that the developers, Sithe Global, who withdrew,  will be back on board. The president

Donald Ramotar
Donald Ramotar

pointed out that he has said before that government has not given up on Amaila.

“Although these are preliminary things I’m speaking about I don’t see that we have lost Sithe Global or that we have lost Blackstone as yet,” he said. If these companies choose not to participate then alternatives will be sought but at the moment “we are not convinced that we’ve lost them,” the president said.

In this year’s budget, US$80 million was listed as equity for the AFHP which is due to come from the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund. It is a pity that the project did not start last year but it is still on the radar and “we hope to get it started this year hopefully,” the president said.

Before US-based Sithe Global pulled out here last year as the developer of the US$858.2 million, 165 megawatt hydro venture, the AFHP was shrouded in controversy as costs escalated.

Sithe Global pulled out of the AFHP last August citing a lack of political consensus. The company had issued explicit statements that unless all three parties in Parliament backed two measures for the controversial US$858M project it would pull out.  The measures were not fully supported and the company walked away.

The IDB is funding further studies relating to the AFHP but whether it would still provide further financing for the project itself is open to question as under a new policy, the United States will be required to vote against multilateral funding for large-scale hydroelectric projects in developing countries.

The IDB had been expected to partially fund the AFHP and at the time of Sithe Global’s pullout, the Bank was conducting due diligence. With the US being a powerful IDB board member, holding 30% of voting power—the most by far—in the IDB, it is unlikely, given the new policy that the US representative will support the project. However, it has been noted that the international financial institutions are free to ignore the position of the US executive directors.

The government is looking at ways to revive the Amaila hydropower project and Prime Minister Samuel Hinds earlier this year told a parliamentary committee that the US position is of concern to Guyana as the AFHP may be one of the projects that the US has to vote against. However, government officials have spoken of Chinese funding filling the gap.

Meantime, in relation to the Marriott Hotel, Ramotar said that a foreign investor will be unveiled soon and funding is available to continue the project. “We have local banks involved, we have also foreign banks involved and we do have a foreign investor,” the president said. He was hoping that the investor would have already been announced but added that there are still some small arrangements left to be made to tie things up. “You will get (answers) soon,” he told reporters. “A consortium of people have put money into it, so there’s money there to continue the work apart from NICIL,” the president said.

Stabroek News reported earlier this month that with five months left before its projected opening, the Marriott Hotel project is still without an investor.

CEO of Atlantic Hotels Incorporated (AHI), Winston Brassington, had said that the name of the US$8 million equity, private investor would have been made public since the end of 2013, but three months into the New Year there has been no word on who this person is. There had been earlier assurances that the investor would be named even before the end of last year.

Latest in Local News

default placeholder

Cases being built against drug kingpins

Outgoing Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy here, Bryan Hunt has urged patience as it relates to indictments of local drug barons saying that cases are being built in the background that can guarantee convictions.

St Paul’s Anglican Church in Aurora

Aurora Village (Part 2)

Things in Aurora Village are much livelier than in Aurora Estate. Women walk in and out of the health centre with babies hanging from their hips; policemen stand outside the police station bracing against a wooden rail as they talk amongst themselves and shouts of chatter from children playing fill the air.

A Cessna 206 – the model of the planes flown out of Eugene F Correia International Airport, at Ogle yesterday

Probe launched into illegal Cessna flights from Ogle

The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) yesterday launched an investigation into the illegal flights of two aircraft from the Eugene F Correia International Airport, at Ogle, East Coast Demerara.

default placeholder

Broke City Hall seeks gov’t bailout

Debt-ridden City Hall has approached the government for a bailout after undertaking several Golden Jubilee projects it did not budget for.

Trevon Thomas

Youth of Guyanese parentage dies in BVI boat accident

A young man of Guyanese parentage died tragically in Tortola, British Virgin Islands around 10:00 hrs yesterday when the speedboat he was in hit rough waters and capsized.

Two of the better appointed stands at D’Urban Park (Stabroek News file photo/Keno George)

D’Urban Park bleachers to remain

The bleachers at D’Urban Park will not be dismantled as originally intended as government intends to preserve and improve the area and turn it into a facility for public events, President David Granger has said.

default placeholder

Funerals held for Kamarang sisters crushed by tree

Post-mortem examinations were performed yesterday on the two children who were crushed to death on Thursday in Kamarang, Region Seven and they were buried with the village council assisting with funeral expenses.

default placeholder

Plug leakages to prevent state resources from bleeding out

Revenues from ExxonMobil’s oil find here could be at least four times Guyana’s national budget at current market prices, and a top US Embassy official here has urged government to move swiftly to implement measures to ensure transparency and accountability.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: