GUYANA: Govt. looking for investor to help revive contentious Amaila Falls Hydro project

Amaila Falls Hydro Dam

Jul 25, 2021 – Kaieteur News – The Office of the Prime Minister has published a request for proposals for the Amaila Falls hydro project on Friday, as the government looks to revive the project which has not gotten off the ground for more than a decade since it was first proposed, due to issues of feasibility and a lack of transparency.

The People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) had intended years ago, to have the China Railways First Group (CRFG) develop the project, with money coming from Norway, China and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). But a Norwegian ethics council had raised questions about the involvement of the Chinese company in a significant corruption case.       

Now, the Government wants a private partner to fund and develop the project. According to the notice, the development arrangement for the project will take one of two systems.

With the first option, Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT), the developer would operate the project for a 20-year BOOT period, before handing it over to the government at no cost. With the second option, Design-Build-Finance, the government would take over the project at the commissioning date and initiate repayment of the financing in accordance with contract terms.

It said that those interested will have to submit proposals under both options, and the government will choose one. The notice said that the Government will choose a capable partner based on how their plans align with the timeframes stipulated, and the lowest economic costs including life-cycle costs. The submissions would have to include estimated project costs, detailing all capital costs, financing costs, supervision costs, development costs, and all other costs to date of commissioning/commercial operations.

The Office of the Prime Minister said that interested parties should review and comment on all project documents and technical studies generally available at the end of 2015.

With many questions about whether this project would work, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and Alliance for Change (AFC) had combined forces in Parliament to oppose it, following the 2011 general election. After the two parties formed a coalition and won the 2015 general election, the project did not stand a chance.

The PPP/C campaigned with the revival of the Amaila Falls project as a manifesto promise, and is now looking to fast-track it.
“The GoG desires start of construction by second half of 2022, with project completion and commissioning by end of 2025,” the notice states. This is similar to the Government’s plan for the gas-to-shore project, which is intended for construction from 2022, with completion and commissioning in 2024.

The PPP/C Government has not sufficiently responded to concerns raised by civil society and the media about the gas-to-shore project, much less the Amaila Falls project.

The public notice about Amaila states “GPL’s current Development and Expansion (D&E) Plan for 2021 to 2025, projects total capacity required in 2025 as 465 MW and energy of 2,900 GWH. The GOG proposes an energy mix that will utilize both natural gas, Heavy Fuel Oil, and renewables (hydro, wind, solar).”

With the gas-to-shore and Amaila projects being the main sources of power, the government said that other renewable sources and heavy fuel oil will make up the balance or serve as backup.

Amaila Project Map

Additional Information

. The scope of work includes a 165 MW hydro dam and plant at the waterfall in Region 8, a 270 km transmission line to Georgetown, electrical substations in Georgetown and Linden, and a 23 sq. km storage reservoir.

The project would also require upgrades and completion of roads and bridges to the site (85 km new: 122 km existing).


Amaila hydro developer sells stake in hydro project   June 3, 2017In “News”

Questions mount over 20-years wait to own Amaila    July 23, 2013In “News”

US$840M Amaila Falls Project… Brassington, IDB, Sithe Global meet in China to address financiers concern   June 20, 2013In “News”

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  • guyaneseonline  On 07/26/2021 at 2:24 am

    From Compton DeCastro

    Some info on google about Venezuela hydro project/dam.
    Also info on solar as a safer source of energy.
    Hydro dams/projects can become “white elephants” in the future….
    Dams can collapse if not maintained over decades and maintainance of turbines can be “costly” in long term.
    With a population of less than 1m
    makes it a nonsense project.
    Stick to solar as energy source.
    My bungalow has 10 solar panels on roof and any excess electricity produced is fed back into grid.
    My electric bill is half what it was prior to installation. Not rocket science 🧬!

    FMI google

    Hope Guyana goes solar not hydro.

  • brandli62  On 07/26/2021 at 11:59 am

    I am not sure that the Amalia Falls location is ideal for a hydroelectric dam. It’s location is very remote requiring the building of new access roads through kilometers of inaccessible rain forest. I have flown over the area multiple times. In addition, 280 km of power lines have to be built to bring the electricity to Georgetown. I agree that Guyana should consider building a hydroelectric power station given its rich water supplies. Hydroelectric power is ideal to complement solar and wind power, particularly during the night and when there is no wind.

    Regarding home solar power, I am on Compton’s page! There should be a major push to have private homes and commercial building in Guyana equipped with solar panels.

  • wally n  On 07/26/2021 at 2:16 pm

    If you look at Guyana as a country about to accelerate into the future, what you see as negative, might not be as bad as you think.
    Solar Panels way overdue, even for the Caribbean. Remote location, people build cities in a very short time, highways and roads probably the first things to show oil benefits. Whatever happened to MOVE the city people? this might be the time. All the problems that can occur, can be alleviated, drought could be a minor problem, because remember we can’t change mother nature (sorry)
    If the country wants to support manufacturing, mineral exploitation, gonna need power, lots.
    Government must use due diligence, select only reputable companies, Guyana can easily become the gem of South America and the saviour of the Caribbean.
    We are on our way………………..

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