Private Sector willing to work with GPL on grid upgrades for GtE Project – GCCI President

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
GCCI President Kester Hutson

The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) continues to have close engagements with the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) and remains willing to work with the company to ensure upgrades to the grid in preparation for the Gas-to-Energy (GtE) Project are done in an effective manner.

During a press conference on Wednesday, the GCCI advocated for the project. While much focus was placed on the economic benefits of the project, the ability to integrate the gas-powered energy within the existing GPL grid is vital.

According to GCCI President Kester Hutson, the Chamber has been having consultations with GPL in an effort to be kept updated on the progress of the required grid upgrades. He noted that the Chamber remained committed to continuing its interactions with GPL to ensure works continue to specifications and citizens get value for money.

“So, in our last engagement with Minister of Public Works [Juan Edghill] and his team, he recognised that the current infrastructure is inefficient and insufficient. So that whole network that was recently done, has to be redone to cater for the increased megawatts for power.

“Yes, the Chamber will work with them, as we have done in previous instances, to ensure that there’s compliance. To ensure that what is required from the Private Sector and citizens is being done with quality service. So, we continue to engage those officials, to ensure they meet the requirements..,” Hutson explained.

During the session, former GCCI President Nicholas Boyer pointed out that the Government is currently subsidising GPL’s costs to produce electricity. Given the cost of Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO), which is used by GPL to generate energy, consumers would have seen greater power tariffs without this subsidy.

Back in 2022, Exxon’s Gas-to-Shore Manager Friedrich Krispin had said that upgrades to the GPL grid should be completed by 2024. These upgrades are necessary for energy from the gas-to-shore project to be integrated into the Demerara Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS).

In 2021, GPL Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bharat Dindyal had said that GPL was planning to overhaul its systems. It is a project that will redound to the benefit of consumers, though at the time the estimated cost was approximately US$293 million, for which he had said they were seeking financing.

The GtE project will include a combined-cycle power plant and a Natural Gas Liquid (NGL) plant, all of which will be constructed within the Wales Development Zone (WDZ), which will be heavily industrialised. The power plant will generate up to 300 megawatts (MW) of power, with a net 250MW delivered into the GPL grid at a sub-station on the East Bank of Demerara.

Head of the Gas-to-Shore Task Force, Winston Brassington has previously stated that ExxonMobil Guyana, which is funding the pipeline aspect of the project out of cost oil, has found that there would be substantial savings from combining these two facilities.

The Guyana Government has already invited interested parties to make investments in the WDZ for which approximately 150 acres of land have been allocated. Those lands were previously used by the Wales Sugar Estate.

The approximately US$900 million gas-to-shore project includes the construction of 225 kilometres of pipeline from the Liza field in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana, where Exxon and its partners are currently pumping oil.

The subsea 12-inch pipeline will run from the Liza Destiny and Liza Unity Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels to the shore at West Coast Demerara, from where it would continue for approximately 25 kilometres to the NGL plant at Wales.

The pipeline is expected to transport some 50 million standard cubic feet per day (mscfpd) of dry gas to the NGL plant, but it has the capacity to push as much as 120 mscfpd.The pipeline’s route onshore would follow the same path as the fibre-optic cables and terminate at Hermitage, part of the WDZ that will house the gas-to-shore project.