Despite anti-fossil fuel push, Jagdeo ‘strongly’ expects U.S. to grant Guyana loan for gas project

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In the face of environmental activism, Guyana’s Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo remains ‘strongly’ optimistic about securing a US$660 million loan from the United States EXIM Bank for the country’s Gas-to-Energy project. This project aims to transform Guyana’s energy sector by utilizing offshore natural gas resources to power the nation’s main electrical grid, reducing emissions by replacing heavy fuel oil with natural gas.

“We anticipate that this loan would be approved, and strongly so,” Jagdeo stated. 

The Vice President’s assertion comes at a time when environmentalists are trying to convince the United States government not to give financial backing to gas projects seeking its support overseas, including Guyana’s Gas-to-Energy project. 

Despite the challenges, Jagdeo affirmed the government’s determination to deliver the project. 

“We govern, we are elected by the people of this country, and we promised them, and they asked, basically, to get cheaper, reliable electricity. We have to fulfill the promises [to] the people of this country,” he said.

Asked repeatedly about the potential for the U.S. to reject the loan request, Jagdeo opted not to speculate. He said however, “We have already been talking about a contingent line of credit that could easily supplant that.”

The government has been funding the project development so far from Guyana’s treasury. 

“The project shall be completed, and it will make a huge difference in the lives of people here, the ordinary people, as well as our business community,” the Vice President stated.

Pipeline installation from ExxonMobil’s offshore Liza field to Wales on the West Bank of the Demerara River is underway. Construction on an integrated facility housing a power plant and natural gas separation plant is set to commence in the second quarter of 2024. The project is expected to deliver first gas in 2025. 

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