IDB ‘fully committed’ to supporting energy sector modernisation

-bank president tells Ramotar

IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno on Thursday met with President Donald Ramotar on the side-lines of the 68th United Nations General Assembly and recommitted to furthering cooperation on addressing the challenges facing the country on energy.

According to a press release from the IDB, both Ramotar and Moreno instructed their respective technical teams to jointly explore alternative ways to upgrade and diversify Guyana’s energy mix.

“They discussed the various development challenges facing Guyana as well as the IDB’s long-term commitment to support Guyana’s national development strategy,” the release said.

The release said that Moreno congratulated President Ramotar on the effective management of fiscal policy by the Government of Guyana’s economic team following massive debt forgiveness in 2006. “As a result, Guyana has consistently maintained fiscal stability and sustained economic growth throughout the international economic downturn,” the release said.

“During the meeting with President Ramotar, President Moreno emphasized that the IDB is fully committed to playing a leading role in helping Guyana to modernize its energy matrix and to advance its innovative Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) in a manner that maintains debt sustainability while providing the desired benefits to Guyana’s economy and its people,” the release said.

It said that both leaders agreed on the pressing need to diversify Guyana’s energy matrix in a way that protects its environment, improves energy sustainability, and lowers total energy costs.

“President Moreno emphasised that the IDB is especially enthusiastic about providing Guyana with technical and financial support to reform energy sector governance. This is of immediate importance to lower the risks and maximise the benefits of any initiative in the energy sector,” the release added.

It is unclear whether the discussions included the recently collapsed Amaila Falls Hydropower project, for which the IDB was providing a component of the loan financing. The IDB was in the process carrying out a due diligence for the US$858 million hydro power project when Sithe Global – a subsidiary of the US Blackstone Group – exited the deal citing lack of political consensus.

IDB Representative in Guyana Sophie Makonnen told Stabroek News in August that the IDB was still to take a position on the financing of the project.

This was after the developer of the project Sithe Global announced that it had ceased funding the due diligence for the project. The IDB still lists the Amaila project on its website as being in preparation.

The IDB was to have released a loan of US$100 million for the project following the completion of the due diligence. The project should have been taken to the IDB Board in October for a decision.

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