Prime Minister Brigadier (retd) Mark Phillips has told the National Assembly that work on the Gas-to-Energy project is moving apace, and the project is on track for completion by the 2025 deadline.
Making his contribution during the Budget Debates on Friday, Phillips recounted the current activities and posited that the Gas-to-Energy Task Force is poised to maintain its steady progression of activities.
A whopping $80 billion has been budgeted in 2024 to advance this project and its associated infrastructure, including transmission and distribution upgrades to offtake the power.
A depiction of the gas to energy project at Wales
“The Gas-to-Energy Task Force has made substantial progress in the integrated power plant and NGL facilities, with 6.8 per cent of site preparation already completed. Significant progress is also being made in the engineering and fabrication of steel turbines, gas turbines, and GSU transformers. Transmission lines and substation projects are progressing nicely, including completion of the land-clearing and geotechnical works at substation locations,” the PM detailed.
Phillips has dubbed the project one that would ease the burden of electricity costs on Guyanese, and has outlined Government’s commitment to improving the lives of its citizens; which he said has continuously been done in the energy sector by stabilising electricity prices.
“This project is significant for all Guyanese because of the significant impact it will have: allowing for cheaper and more affordable electricity at approximately 50 per cent less cost when it is completed…I must add that there has not been an increase in the charge for electricity since what we were paying pre-COVID. This is a people-centred, people-caring Government,” he declared.
It had previously been reported that the marine offloading facility has been completed and 26 kilometres (km) of onshore pipelines have been installed.
The scope of Guyana’s gas-to-energy project consists of the construction of 225 kilometres of pipeline from the Liza field in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana, where Exxon and its partners are currently producing oil.
It features approximately 200 kilometres of a subsea pipeline offshore that will run from Liza Destiny and Liza Unity floating, production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessels in the Stabroek Block to the shore. Upon landing on the West Coast Demerara shore, the pipeline would continue for approximately 25 kilometres to the NGL plant at Wales, West Bank Demerara.
In last year’s national budget, the project received a $43.3 billion allocation in addition to the $24.6 billion injected into the start-up of the transformational project, for the construction of an integrated Natural Gas Liquid (NGL) Plant and the 300-megawatt (MW) Combined Cycle Power Plant at Wales, WBD.
Between 2020 and 2023, investments have also been increased in clean renewable energy. Some 173 per cent increase in installed solar PV capacity – from 5.3 megawatts to 14.6 megawatts – has been recorded throughout Guyana.
For this year, work will commence on a 10-megawatt solar farm in Berbice, an eight-megawatt solar farm in Essequibo, and a 0.6-megawatt solar farm in Leguan. The Government would be spending $4.8 billion to finance these projects.
Solar power generation increased with the commissioning of a 1.5MW solar farm in Bartica in 2023, while works have been advanced on the 0.65-megawatt solar farm in Mahdia. The latter will be completed within the first quarter of this year.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) mini-grids have also been installed in 21 communities in 2023, among which are Baramita, Capoey, Kwebana, Orealla, and Siparuta. These mini-grid systems now provide renewable electricity to 285 public and community buildings.In 2024, over $350 million has been budgeted for new mini-grid systems in several areas, including Awarewaunau, Katoka, Maruranau, Nappi, and Yupukari.
At the household level in the off-grid hinterland and riverine communities, 26,398 solar panels were delivered, bringing electricity to many of those homes for the very first time. In 2024, a further 3,602 solar panels will be distributed.