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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Talks on ‘Arco Norte’ energy corridor to advance later this year – President Ali

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The Governments of Guyana, Northern Brazil, Suriname, and French Guiana are due for a meeting later this year on the planned regional energy corridor. Guyana’s President, Dr. Irfaan Ali made the disclosure during a press conference on Wednesday.

The planned electricity grid has already undergone studies which examined the utilization of the energy potential of Guyana and Suriname. The project would see the countries, which form part of the ‘Arco Norte’ region, trading electricity and cooperate on utilising efficient power sources, which would reduce costs and environmental and social impacts.

“We have to look at renewable energy not only in the context of Guyana,” President Ali said, as he faced questions on Government’s renewable energy considerations while it moved ahead with the gas-to-energy project.

The President explained that it is important to take into consideration what the energy supply in Brazil would mean for Guyana, and also that of Suriname and French Guiana. He said that the regional energy mix would be broad and comprehensive.

One gas-to-power feasibility study recently released by Government that was done by K&M Advisors in 2019, states that the establishment of the energy corridor would reduce the risk of Guyana’s over-dependency on gas, when the fossil fuel project is operationalised.

The involvement of Guyana and Suriname in the electricity corridor has faced renewed excitement due to recent large hydrocarbon discoveries offshore. Guyana has started to benefit from the exploitation of the first of 19 discoveries made by ExxonMobil in the Stabroek block. The total estimated recoverable reserve stands at nine billion oil-equivalent barrels, while discoveries offshore Suriname place its recoverable oil-equivalent reserves well over six billion barrels.

Estimates place the combined gas reserves of Guyana and Suriname over 10 trillion cubic feet.

Former Managing Director of Suriname’s state oil company, Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname NV, Rudolf Elias, had expressed interest in Guyana and Suriname cooperating to utilise their gas to generate electricity. However, plans for this corridor were being discussed for years, as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) conducted baseline and pre-feasibility studies in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

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