Wednesday, June 29, 2022

US$900M gas-to-energy project attracting investors from across the world – Bharrat

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OilNOW
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Following the publication of an Expression of Interest (EOI) in July for investors to collaborate with the Guyana government and ExxonMobil on the US$900 million gas-to-energy project, authorities have received over 30 responses, says natural resources minister, Vickram Bharrat. He told OilNOW the task force assigned to the project is going through the bids received but noted some of that interest is from China, USA, Europe and even regionally.

“Some of our locals have also partnered with some regional actors too on their bids,” Mr. Bharrat said.

He was keen to note that the government is keeping an eye out for the local content inclusion in the bids received while reiterating that the project will be “game changing for the economy and the development of our people.”

OilNOW had reported that the gas project will utilise associated natural gas from ExxonMobil’s Liza field with the pipeline passing through Crane and other communities before landing at Wales on the West Bank of Demerara where the power generation facility will be constructed.

Speaking on the decisions the government made thus far in relation to the project, Mr. Bharrat reminded that the administration had decided that a 12-inch pipeline would be ideal since the intention is to eventually connect Payara and Yellowtail to the infrastructure.

He said, “There was a lot of talk by the political opposition about the cost of the project moving from US$600M to US$900M but the scales being looked at are different. They looked at an 8-inch pipeline, but we are looking at 12. Their plan looked at taking the pipeline to Mahaica or Ogle, but we are looking at Wales.”

Mr. Bharrat added, “We are not only putting a power plant in place but a massive industrial manufacturing plant with a port facility. So, we are using a 12-inch pipeline with a 250 megawatts power plant and 15 kilometers of pipeline onshore…and setting up industries to feed off of that… The task force is still working on the price for the gas and there is a draft on terms of sale.”

He also noted that the government has already received proposals from several persons to set up fertilizer plants and small petrochemical plants to utilize the gas but stressed that it is going to be on a modular basis because more gas would be coming later on.

In May this year, the government had published an Expression of Interest for a Commercial Negotiator for the gas project.

According to procurement documents seen by OilNOW, the successful applicant would be required to support the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Gas-to-Power Task Force on the development of Heads of Terms (HoT)/Term Sheets with the operator for Gas, Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs), and condensate. The Consultant would also be expected to provide a Commercial Strategy for the Wales Industrial Zone including a Gas Sales Agreement (GSA), Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and waste heat sale/allocation.

Bharrat was keen to note that several applications were received from a number of international experts. “But we are still examining the background, qualifications, and the suitability too of these persons because they might be experts in their field but how is their experience or expertise applicable to the Guyana situation? We need people who are familiar with our circumstances and so we are not rushing into anything,” Mr. Bharrat stated.

The government’s US$900M gas project will see an eco-friendly industrial park being established on just over 10,000 acres of land at Wales on the West Bank of Demerara. It is expected to come on stream by 2024. According to finance minister, Dr. Ashni Singh, the project is expected to create approximately 3000 jobs.

Along with the tenders for key experts, the government disclosed that Exxon is handling the conduct of geotechnical, geophysical, environmental impact, and Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) studies to determine the location and the right route for the gas line that would terminate at Crane. Those studies will also be instrumental in determining how the drying facilities, cogeneration plant, and essential petrochemical industries would be situated across Wales.

Furthermore, the project is expected to last for at least 25 years and is generally anticipated to have a positive effect on the economy of Guyana as a result of more affordable and reliable electricity, as well as increased local employment and procurement opportunities.

The highly anticipated project is expected to pave the way for a massive industrial park located at Wales which is expected to occupy just over 10,000 acres of land.

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