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China Signs $506 Million Agreement to Build Guyana Hydro Plant

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - September 13, 2012

Above: a rendering of the Amaila Falls project

By the Caribbean Journal staff

A $506 million contract was signed this week by a Chinese state-owned company to build the planned hydro power plant at Amaila Falls.

The engineering procurement and construction agreement was signed in China Monday, and the project should begin by 2013, according to Guyana’s government.

At full capacity, the plant is projected to supply 165 megawatts of power.

President Donald Ramotar called the agreemnet “historic.”

The contract was signed by Sithe Global and China Railway First Group. Singh was on hand in China, along with Guyana Power and Light Chairman Winston Brassington and other officials.

“This transformational project is the single-largest investment in Guyana, and will allow Guyana, in one single step, to move from being almost entirely dependent on costly fossil fuels to being supplied almost entirely by renewable energy,” Singh said. “We are delighted to have such credible partners recognize the importance of the project and be ready to invest private capital in Guyana.”

Before the project can begin, however, Guyana needs to complete the access road for the project, which has undergone several delays. According to Cabinet Secretary Dr Roger Luncheon, contractors on that project are aiming to complete that by mid-2013.

“Things did not go according to plan for the road,” he said. “The road has to be completed by mid-next year.”

Guyana, which has been pushing forward what it bills as a Low-Carbon Development Strategy, signed an agreement in May for a smaller-scale “micro-hydropower” project on the country’s Chiung River. That project is being supported in part by the European Union.

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