Guyana’s push to ease power generation deficiency with natural gas production gains momentum

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Guyana's Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson

Guyana’s push for the production of Liquefied Natural Gas and its use to alleviate a decades-old power generation deficiency in the South American country is gaining momentum.

The first in a series of continued discussions on commercial and power generation issues will be held when officers of the Government of Guyana and technical members of ExxonMobil meet in Georgetown on Tuesday.

The technical working group is scheduled to convene on September 19 and 20 and will feature technical persons from the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Ministry of Natural Resources, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Business, Guyana Energy Agency, and the Guyana Power and Light Inc., along with ExxonMobil’s power generation specialists and analysts.

According to the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, the working group will focus on natural gas and the surrounding commercial and economic issues as it relates to offshore transportation for onshore power generation. Compared to Guyana’s current use of liquid fuels for electricity generation, natural gas is cleaner and its use for energy production could reduce the country’s fuel bill, and in turn, reduce the cost of electricity.

Furthermore, the working group will continue dialogue on local and international power generation experiences, including domestic infrastructural requirements and considerations for the potential of natural gas into gas-fired power generation. The agenda will also include an overview of commercial power generation structures and approaches to power investment. It is expected that capacity building for local and key technical government officials will be the major output of the two-day session. This is particularly important in light of the recent consultations held by the Ministry of Natural Resources on local content policy and its focus on maximising benefits and value retention from Guyana’s petroleum resources through local content and capacity development.

“As the first of such sessions, the Government of Guyana looks forward to furthering its understanding of the technical and key dynamics of proposed projects in an effort to diversify the energy mix in Guyana,” Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson explained.

He further emphasised that the sessions will not serve as an occasion for negotiations or review of contractual obligations between Guyana and ExxonMobil. Rather, he said, “It is intended to continue dialogue, with an intended wrap-up summary, including presentations updating key ministries on the joint discussions having taken place over the two day session.”

ExxonMobil Country Manager in Guyana, Rod Henson, told OilNOW in a recent interview that based on preliminary investigations, diverting natural gas to shore is technically feasible. Henson acknowledged that the ability to provide more affordable electricity with the use of natural gas will serve to significantly benefit the country as a whole.