Government says that an agreement with Trinidad and Tobago’s ENMAN Group to develop a hydropower plant at the Turtruba Rapids, upstream of Bartica on the Mazaruni River, expired over three years ago, despite the company’s recent announcement of plans to move ahead.
ENMAN Group President Donald Baldeosingh had earlier this week told Stabroek News that the firm is eyeing several mega projects here worth over US$4 billion, beginning with a cable linking the two nations to bring hundreds of megawatts of surplus power here.
He said that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed with the government, giving the company exclusive rights to develop the site at Turtruba Rapids, which was expected to have a capacity of 800MW.
But according to Morsha Johnson, Electricity Regulatory Advisor to the Prime Minister, the MOU has expired. “ENMAN Services Limited had applied for and was granted an MOU in 2001 to conduct studies at the Takwari site, which was amended a few months later, substituting the Turtruba site. That MOU was amended from time to time, eventually expiring by effluxion of time in July 2010 and ENMAN Services Limited was duly informed,” Johnson said in a letter to Stabroek News.
Asked about the expiration of the MOU, Baldeosingh confirmed that this was indeed the case and added that it had been succeeded by other activities. He said too that the project has doubled in size and scope and ENMAN and its partners are preparing to present the updated project to the government and local stakeholders.
“ENMAN, in 2001 and at the invitation of the government, entered into an MOU which gave ENMAN exclusive right to conduct the necessary studies to determine the viability of the hydropower project. The MOU was extended by mutual agreement to 2010,” Baldeosingh said.
“Some rights arising out of the activities have succeeded the MOU expiration. During the ensuing years ENMAN and its international partners published various studies and engineering designs that sufficiently proved the viability of the hydropower portion,” he further said.
He said that they look forward to the same level of cooperation that has encouraged them to invest 12 years and considerable sums in combining the dreams and aspirations of the people of Guyana with the resources available in Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago “in a project that will create a new future for the region. Guyana will become a net exporter of energy, and thousands of new jobs will be created, among the many benefits.”
Baldeosingh had previously identified the core mega projects as Trinidad to Guyana Power Interconnection (US$700 million); an aluminium smelter in Guyana (US$560 million); a deep water port in Guyana (US$500 million); an industrial park in Guyana (US$250 million); a hydroelectric power plant in Guyana (US$2 billion); and a training institute in Guyana (US$70 million).