Guyana’s exponential energy demand may beckon another power project – VP

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Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo believes Guyana may need to start planning for another energy generation project to satisfy the country’s growing demand. 

Current output has trouble meeting demand, and this leads to frequent power outages sometimes countrywide. A reliable solution was found with offshore natural gas; the government is currently executing a Gas-to-Energy project, set to utilize 50 million cubic feet of natural gas per day from offshore fields to generate 300 megawatts (MW) of power. The Amaila Falls hydropower project is also envisioned to deliver 165 MW of clean energy, though it is yet to be operationalized.

But they might not be enough. 

“…even if we get the Amaila Falls and the 300 [MW], solar and wind, we would probably have to have another 300 megawatts,” Jagdeo told a Jan. 4 news conference. “We would have to start planning beyond that because the way the power demand is growing, it is in an exponential way. We have new hotels that all use about two to three MW of power [and] some massive new investments in many parts of the country because we believe once you have cut the price of power by 2025 by 50%, you are going to see an explosion in usage.” 

“We believe we have to start…now planning a project, beyond the current [ones], they will not be implemented now but put it in planning because we are looking at the outer term,” he continued. 

Just last year, in the wake of rapid economic growth, Guyana witnessed its highest-ever electricity generation and demand. According to a September 29 notice from Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL), the Demerara-Berbice Interconnected System [the grid], recorded a peak demand of 182 MW, a stark increase from 2022’s 154 MW. According to the utility company, the surge is primarily due to the increased use of air conditioning units and fans, spurred by rising temperatures, as well as the ongoing boom in Guyana’s construction and hospitality sectors.

The Gas-to-Energy project offers scope for expansion. The pipeline transporting the natural gas can carry 120 million cubic feet per day, offering even more power generation potential. The 300 MW power plant is also going to be modular. The government has also started scouting locations for a second hydropower project

The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) raised concerns last year about the impact of power instability on Guyana’s investment climate. And with President Irfaan Ali noting that Guyana is “open for business”, it critically needs sustainable power infrastructure to support its growth. 

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