New transmission line earmarked for Linden, to remove dependence on Bosai – VP

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

The Government has plans for the mining town of Linden that will include linking it with the East Bank of Demerara (EBD) to provide electricity and remove the dependence on the bauxite company of Bosai for power.

During his recent press conference, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo was asked about a billboard boasting that the Gas-to-Energy (GtE) Project, which is expected to come online next year, would power the entire country.

While the 300-megawatt Gas-to-Energy Project will almost double the Guyana Power and Light’s current installed capacity, the VP clarified that the Government would be using a range of options.

The control center in Eccles

As far as powering sections of the country such as Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice), Jagdeo explained that they may install a transmission line from GPL’s control center at Eccles, all the way to the mining town.

“It’s not going to power the whole country, because the inter-connected grid. So now we’re going to build a transmission main from Garden of Eden, in fact maybe from Eccles (which) has to be upgraded, from the control center all the way to Linden,” Jagdeo said.

Jagdeo noted that this was in an effort to remove the State’s dependence on bauxite company Bosai, to power Linden’s grid. The Vice President described the current power purchasing arrangement with Bosai as an “exorbitant” one.

“Because we’re making some investments in Linden now. We’re putting in, the Government is going to finance megawatts of solar panel. But we’re paying Bosai now, a substantial sum of money every year to supply power to the community, at very exorbitant rates… because we have to buy the power from them,” the Vice President further explained.

“So, we, now, need to take that power also to Linden. So, we’d have power from Linden, all the way to Crabwood creek, and then across the river. So, we’re working on an alternate arrangement for Essequibo. Because we don’t have a cable to take the power across.”

As far back as 2022, GPL Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bharat Dindyal had indicated that the control center at Eccles is expected to be fed power from both the GtE Project and Amaila Falls Hydropower Project (AFHP).

The cost for energy has long been cited as not only a major bugbear for residential customers, but a hindrance to the commercial customers and the manufacturing sector.

The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government is seeking to address this through a mix of various non-Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) options.

The GtE Project will see 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 Natural Gas Liquids (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 construction of the NGL Plant and the 300-MW Combined Cycle Power Plant at Wales.

This year, a whopping $80 billion was budgeted to advance this project and its associated infrastructure, including transmission and distribution upgrades to offtake the power. As of January, this year, the marine offloading facility has been completed, and 26km of onshore pipelines have been installed. Once completed, the project will allow Guyanese to benefit from a 50 per cent reduction in electricity costs.

Meanwhile, the 165-megawatt AFHP was the flagship initiative of the Bharrat Jagdeo-crafted Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS). According to the reissued Request For Proposal (RFP), the project, under the BOOT model, will integrate and expand GPL’s national grid capacity to include Linden.

So far, the names of four companies have been in the public domain as having submitted proposals. They are Rialma SA (Grupo Rialma) from Brazil, Lindsayca CH4 Guyana Inc, China International Water & Elec Corp, and a group made up of OEC, GE Vernova, and Australia’s Worley.