Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Government to compensate property owners who will be displaced by Gas-to-Energy project – Attorney General

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A government delegation led by Guyana’s Attorney General, Mohabir Anil Nandlall, on Friday met with residents of several Region Three communities through which the upcoming Gas-to-Energy infrastructure will be built. These communities include Nouvelle Flanders and Wales, the legal affairs Minister said on Facebook.

The meeting, which was held at the West Demerara Secondary School, explored the matter of compensation for those proprietors who will be displaced by the project. In updating the residents, he said government has already commenced clearing a path for the pipeline from the Atlantic Ocean to Wales.

The AG noted that this engagement comes on the heels of an amendment to Guyana’s Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act in 2021, which updated the law as it regards use of private lands for large projects.

He said the rationale of this amendment was that “the Government will ensure that all transactions regarding private properties with their owners would be conducted fairly and with due recognition of the Constitutional and proprietary interests of those affected.”

On this basis, he assured proprietors that the government will be guided by the principles of fairness, transparency, fair market value and compliance with the Constitution. He said as far as possible, consensus resolutions will be vigorously pursued.

Nandlall said a team of lawyers has been retained to negotiate with each property owner or their legal representative(s) until agreements are reached. The government is looking at providing monetary compensation and/or allocation of lands elsewhere.

Other high-profile officials present at the meeting were Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat; Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill; Head of the Gas-to-Energy task force, Winston Brassington; and Senior Petroleum Coordinator, Bobby Gossai Jr.

The government plans to utilise the gas from the offshore Liza field as a transition fuel. It intends to cut the cost of power for consumers by 50% when the pipeline and power plant are completed in 2024. Then, soon after, a natural gas liquids facility (NGL) will allow for use of other natural gas by-products, with massive commercialization potential.

Gas-to-Energy, a collaborative effort between the Guyana government and the Stabroek Block partners, is expected to be one of the most transformational projects in the country’s history.

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