Guyana’s Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo said the government expects the United States Export-Import Bank (EXIM) to decide on a US$660 million loan request from Guyana in the first or second quarter of 2024. It is meant to support the country’s Gas-to-Energy project, which will boost electricity generation and help the government reduce power-related emissions.
“We anticipate [a decision] in the first, second quarter of this year,” Jagdeo said during a Feb. 8 press conference in Georgetown.
The government said it applied for the loan early 2023. Since the review process is not over yet, there were questions about whether the loan would be approved at all. Jagdeo, however, has always expressed confidence that approval is imminent and that the timing is not unusual.
“They are now doing their work, and then it will move forward. It is routine. So, a number of people who are unfamiliar with the process and who just don’t know anything, they see [the wait] as a big issue. For me, I see this as routine… In fact, it is moving fast,” the Vice President stated.
He has also said the U.S. is fully supportive of the Gas-to-Energy project.
The loan will support the installation of transmission infrastructure and the construction of an integrated gas processing facility, which includes a 300-megawatt (MW) power plant and a natural gas separation plant. The facility will receive offshore natural gas transported through a pipeline being installed by Exxon’s contractors.
Meanwhile, Jagdeo reported that the government is working out a gas sales agreement with ExxonMobil.
“It’s something we’ve been negotiating for quite a while. The principles have been laid out already… that the gas is for free, and there are drafts going…”
Exxon, Hess and CNOOC are investing about a billion dollars to have the pipeline installed. The government plans to pay them back from sales of natural gas liquids (NGL).
The pipeline is expected to be in place by the end of the year. The onshore plant facility and the transmission system will follow.
The government plans to cut the cost of power by 50% when gas starts flowing.