Amaila Falls Hydro Project
- Published: 16 August 2011
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Project Budget: US$ 80 Million (this represents the GRIF equity portion)
Implementing Agencies: Project Management Office (Office of President) and NICIL
Project Background and Summary
The Amaila Falls Hydropower Project is the flagship of Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy. Amaila will deliver a steady source of clean, renewable energy that is affordable and reliable and is envisioned to meet approximately 90% of Guyana’s domestic energy needs while removing dependency on fossil fuels.
The Amaila Falls Hydro Electric Plant will be a 165 MW (installed capacity) hydropower generation facility, that will be located in west-central Guyana, approximately 250km southwest of Georgetown.
The project involves (i) a hydropower plant at the confluence of the Amaila and Kuribrong rivers; (ii) an electrical interconnection facility, consisting of about 270km of high-voltage redundant transmission line and two sub-stations (these two components will be developed by the Sithe Global group of companies, a US-based international energy firm with a proven track record of developing energy projects across the world); and (iii) the construction of an access road to the project, consisting of approximately 85km of new roads and an upgrade of about 122km of existing roads (this is the responsibility of the Government of Guyana).
Guyana currently relies on imported fuel oil and diesel for its electricity generation, which is both expensive and carbon-intensive. The Amaila Hydroelectric plant is expected to shift Guyana’s reliance on thermal generation to renewable energy, eliminate over 90% of the country’s energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, provide energy production for approximately 90% of Guyana’s population. In addition, improve Guyana’s balance of payments by significantly reducing the importation of fuel, significantly reduce end-user costs for electricity and improve reliability of energy supply and generation of clean energy, which will help to encourage economic growth and development by improving regional competitiveness, private sector investment and foreign direct investment.
Excluding emissions from construction of the plant, the carbon abatement by 2020 is estimated to be approximately 12 megatons of CO2e.
The Amaila Falls Hydropower project achieved significant milestones in September 2012 with the signing of the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) agreement in China between Sithe Global and China Railway First Group. A Mandate Letter was also signed in September 2012 between the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Sithe Global and represents a critical piece of the project financing scheme. This significant step forward allows the lenders of the Project (the IDB and China Development Bank) to proceed with the final phase of due diligence and draft the required financing documentation. The due diligence and documentation phase is expected to conclude in the second half of 2013. Project construction will begin immediately after this and the project schedule is expected to be thirty nine (39) months.
On July 31st 2013, the Government of Guyana convened a public consultation session on the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project at the Guyana International Conference Centre at Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara.
Representatives from the Government, along with representatives from the Blackstone Group and Sithe Global, the private developer and majority equity investor in the project, conducted presentations and a question and answer session where both the press and the public were given the opportunity to raise questions and openly participate in the discussions.
The presentations made by Blackstone and Sithe Global and the Government of Guyana provided an overview of the Amaila Falls project, benefits, structure and cost, responses to reported concerns, milestones and next steps. (The presentations are attached below).
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