Guyana’s current natural gas reserves total some 16 trillion cubic feet, according to the Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo.
And that gas can either be used for energy generation or reinjected into Guyana’s offshore wells. The government has a ‘no routine flaring’ policy, something ExxonMobil, operator at the Stabroek Block, has adopted although it had encountered prolonged issues with a gas compressor on the Liza Destiny FPSO, leading to flaring above pilot levels.
President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) Timothy Tucker believes the natural gas can be put to better use for the benefit of the rapidly growing economy. He made these remarks at a forum for the business community held on Wednesday evening where Economist Dr. Justin Ram presented his study on Guyana’s Gas-to-Energy project. Dr. Ram had held virtual sessions with other stakeholder groups, including the local media, prior to this week’s event with private sector representatives.
“What do we prefer, them [oil companies] to flare the gas or bring it in so that we can benefit from it? We would be creating something new, something to benefit us, rather than burning it and deteriorating the environment causing global warming,” he argued.
Tucker shares the Vice President’s “no brainer” stance on the transformational project because, in his view, the benefits are significant.
Guyana relies on heavy fuel oil and has been plagued with power generation woes for years – constant power outages and grid failures. As the President of the GCCI, Tucker explained that one of the major asks from the business community is for the removal of duties on the import of fuel.
With the gas-to-energy project, that would be a thing of the past.
“Think about the magnitude of investment that big companies like Banks DIH, Sterling and the rest put into buying heavy fuel oil and consider how that can benefit the businesses if they did not need to spend that money?” he asked.
Added to that, the GCCI President noted that the gas-to-energy project will have spin-off benefits for the surrounding communities as well. Already, the government has signaled its intention to create an industrial zone where the natural gas pipeline is expected to terminate at Wales, West Bank Demerera.
The project is expected to come on stream by 2025. It will see a power plant being constructed to generate 250 megawatts (MW) of power and a Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) plant to cover Guyana’s domestic demand for other natural gas products.
A pipeline will be constructed to transport the guaranteed minimum of 50 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) of natural gas to the Wales Development Authority, where the onshore facilities will be located.