At its current cost Amaila would be the most expensive hydro in the world

Dear Editor,

At US$835 million for a 165-megawatt plant, the Amaila Falls hydroelectric project is the costliest in the world. Its cost per megawatt (CM) is already over US$5 million. Experts say cost per megawatt (CM) should range between US$1 million and $1.5 million. Here are the CMs of recent major projects:

China’s 18,000 MW Three Gorges is US $1.3 million, Turkey’s Ilisu is US $1.3 million, Sudan’s Merowe is US $0.63 million and Ethiopia’s Gilgel II is US $1.42 million. The last known information puts Sithe Global’s Bujagali plant in Uganda at a CM of US $3.44 million. Amaila is more expensive than all of these projects and it has not even started. I keep telling the Guyanese people this Amaila Falls project will make the Skeldon white elephant rip-off look like an ant. The Guyanese people will pay dearly for this epic disaster. This project will exceed US $1 billion by the time it is done.

This kind of money spent over the course of the next four years will cause serious inflation and will drive the cost of living and prices for basic goods including foodstuff into the stratosphere.

This reckless level of spending will have serious consequences for Guyana and the pockets of the Guyanese people. A lucky few will get their mansions but the rest will be crippled.

Add the fact that a man who was a key part of the Skeldon sugar factory mess in Donald Ramotar wants to run the country for the PPP and it is clear that the Guyanese people will suffer serious economic harm under a Ramotar-led PPP government with this project on stream.

The PPP is too ashamed and too proud to admit this project is a crisis of frightening proportions that will cripple the people of this country.

More than two-thirds of this country live in various levels of poverty. Any country that recklessly spends US $1 billion in such a short period of time will make life harder for the majority poor people of this land. More pockets will be filled at the expense of the people of Guyana. Amaila Falls will lead to more crime, corruption and cost of living nightmares under the PPP.

If people don’t stop the PPP now, it will get worse when US $1 billion has to be spent on a project that is good on paper but has become atrocious in the hands of the incompetent, corrupt and wasteful PPP.

The Guyanese people have to act now. They have to make 2011 their political revolution.

The 2011 election is as good a time to take back their money and their country. The Guyanese people don’t waste money in their daily lives so why allow a government to recklessly squander their taxes? Enough of the PPP’s sickening excesses, incompetence and barefaced arrogance in refusing to stop or revise this thing before it causes more economic harm. The time for change is now.

Yours faithfully,
M. Maxwell

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