Monday, February 6, 2023

Exxon seeking EPA approval for establishment of gas-to-energy facilities

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Guyana’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has directed ExxonMobil’s subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in order to get authorization for the imminent gas-to-energy project. The public now has 28 days to make submissions to the EPA of matters which it thinks should be considered in the EIA.

In a notice on Friday, the agency said it has received the application from Exxon’s local affiliate for the onshore and offshore aspects of the project, including construction, commissioning, and operation.

According to the notice, ExxonMobil is seeking authorization for the onshore natural gas liquids and natural gas processing plant (NGL plant) which is proposed to be located at the Amsterdam/Vriesland area, West Bank Demerara.

Also applied for is authorization for the construction of a 220km offshore 12-inch pipeline from the Liza Phases 1 and 2 floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessels, the Liza Destiny and Unity. That pipeline would extend to La Jalousie/Nouvelle Flanders, West Coast Demerara.

There is also a provision for an onshore 12-inch pipeline, approximately 27km long, commencing North of the proposed NGL plant site and extending through and near several villages along the West Coast of Demerara and the West Bank of Demerara, until it meets the offshore pipeline.

Exxon has also applied for a temporary materials offloading facility at Amsterdam/Vriesland, including support works such as dredging, in-water construction activities, road construction, road improvements and post-construction restorative works around the entire proposed project area.

The EPA notice states that the intended development activities could cause environmental effects which impact marine water quality, air quality, marine and terrestrial flora and fauna, socio-economic resources, and others. The regulator said it determined that the EIA is necessary because the project may significantly alter the environment.

The gas-to-energy project is a partnership between ExxonMobil and the Government of Guyana. The government intends for the project to begin the country’s transition to cleaner energy sources, as Guyana’s energy sector is heavily dependent on diesel and heavy fuel oil.

Guyanese authorities are aiming for a 50% reduction in the cost of power. The Government has promised to institute not only the gas-to-energy project, but a diverse energy mix, including hydro, solar and wind power.

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