Govt has to start planning projects beyond Gas-to-Energy project as power demand increases – VP Jagdeo

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

By Devina Samaroo

Driven by massive development all across the country, the power demand continues to increase exponentially, and the Government will now have to start planning for future projects.

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo has predicted that even the 300 megawatts projected to come on stream by early next year through the gas-to-energy project, will not be enough to meet the power demands of a growing nation and its people.

This year alone, the electricity demand is projected to peak at 236 megawatts; however, Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Inc can generate approximately 180 megawatts of power.In 2020, the power demand was around 120 megawatts and this grew to 136 megawatts in 2021; 156 megawatts in 2022; and then peaked at 184 megawatts in 2023. Last year’s peak was recorded when all industrial customers were on the grid.

GPL sub-station at Garden of Eden, EBD

And with electricity costs slated to be significantly reduced in the coming years, there will be a significant surge in the demand for power in the near future, Jagdeo outlined.

“Even if we get the Amaila Falls and the 300 megawatts [from the Gas-to-Energy project] and solar and some wind, we probably have to have another 300 megawatts start planning [now]…because the way the power demand is growing, it’s in an exponential way. We’d have 12 new hotels, they’d all use about 2-3 megawatts of power, some massive new investments in many parts of the country, we believe that once you cut the price of power by 2025 by 50 per cent, you’re going to see an explosion in usage…,” the Vice President explained, noting that more households will then install air conditioning units.

In this regard, he asserted that the Government will have to now start planning a new project, beyond the current initiatives being pursued.

“…but that will be not implemented now but put it in the planning equation,” Jagdeo reasoned.

In Budget 2023, the gas-to-energy project received a $43.3 billion allocation. This allocation is in addition to the $24.6 billion injected into the start-up of the transformational project, which includes the construction of an integrated Natural Gas Liquid (NGL) plant and the 300-megawatt (MW) combined cycle power plant at Wales, WBD.

The NGL and 300 MW power plant components of the gas-to-shore project are meanwhile expected to cost US$759.8 million and will be financed through sources that include budgets and loan financing.

A model of Guyana’s Gas-to-Energy Project

The scope of the 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. The pipeline would be 12 inches wide, and is expected to transport per day some 50 million standard cubic feet (mscfpd) of dry gas to the NGL plant, but it can push as much as 120 mscfpd.The pipeline’s route onshore would follow the same path as the fibre optic cables, and will terminate at Hermitage, part of the Wales Development Zone (WDZ) which will house the Gas-to-Shore Project.

A sum of US$55 million per annum will be paid to ExxonMobil in amortisation costs for the pipelines to be installed in the gas-to-energy project, which will allow Guyana to, in turn, save and earn ten times that amount.

Gas-to-Energy Project Head Winston Brassington had explained that the $55 million to be paid to ExxonMobil annually would allow the oil major to recover the US$1 billion spent on the pipelines.

Guyana has meanwhile been receiving assistance from international sources including Qatar, when it comes to the formulation of a plan to utilise and monetise the gas supply it will get when the gas-to-energy project comes online.