Government advertisement exposes Jagdeo’s lies on private investment in gas-to-energy project  – Kaieteur News

Government advertisement exposes Jagdeo’s lies on private investment in gas-to-energy project 

Kaieteur News – As questions continue to swirl around the controversial Wales gas-to-energy project, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo has denied that Government is courting private investors, although a July 2021 Government advertisement in the local newspapers undermined his claims.

Kaieteur News Publisher, Glenn Lall

During an appearance on ‘The Glenn Lall Show’ hosted by the Kaieteur News Publisher, Jagdeo was asked about the issue. “Private people are being pushed into this project, you guys have advertised for private investors into the gas plant?” Mr. Lall asked Jagdeo who responded, “No man, what you advertise for private investors? Where did you get that from? Some rumour mill again…just like how you said I own the Marriott Hotel.  Where did you see us advertise for whom to go there?”

After his fierce denial, Mr. Lall asked Jagdeo for them to move on, but the former President and oil ‘Czar’ for the Government insisted, “No, no, no you’re lying there again because we just open a bid today to build the power plant and the NGL facility and it’s all owned by the Government of Guyana.”

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo

“So I don’t know where you got this from, it’s one of these gyaff sessions and then you reported it and it’s gonna be a front page headline, ‘Private ownership of the gas power plant’ and you’ll never retract it when you find out it’s not true. But that’s a lie, that’s a lie,” Jagdeo continuously thundered.

Speaking with this newspaper, Mr. Lall said he tried hard to be very civil with the Vice President during the interview and did not want a back and forth with him. “So I decided to speak now and for everyone to read that it was this same Government that Jagdeo represents, that placed an advertisement in all of the newspapers inviting private investors in the facility, but now and to the whole world he has denied and calling me a liar,” Mr. Lall said.

“Well it is for the Guyanese people to see and determine exactly who is the liar and who telling the truth. Back in July 13, 2021, this newspaper published an article based on the advertisement, which was placed by the Ministry of Natural Resources under the caption: ‘Request for Expressions of Interest (EoI) gas-related investments.’

The July 2021 advertisement in which the Government invited private partners for the gas-to-energy project, but now VP Jagdeo is saying something otherwise.

The newspaper had reported that despite no detailed financial or other studies being completed, the Government of Guyana said it had finalised the Wales Development Zone (WDZ) as the termination point for the pipeline from the Liza Area in the Stabroek Block, offshore Guyana and as such is seeking private investors or a consortium to be part of the project.

The Ministry of Natural Resources in the EoI called for joint participation in the proposed gas-to-energy project with the Government and Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL)—ExxonMobil Guyana. According to the advertised EoI, the Government and EEPGL are looking for partners ‘in designing or utilising the outputs from an NGL (Natural Gas Liquids) / LPG (Liquified Petroleum Gas) facility and related facilities.’ This includes, according to the Ministry, design, construction, and financing of a power plant fuelled by natural gas, where the power will be delivered into the Guyana Power and Light’s (GPL) distribution grid. This is in addition to industries that can utilise natural gas for, ‘natural gas driven developments and growth.’

According to the invitation, interested parties can bid to take part in any of the elements individually or collectively. It was noted, however, any submission for the first and third aspects of the project, namely design and utilisation of gas or the industrial park, ‘must demonstrate the nexus between the projects as detailed.’

Responses to the EOI, the Ministry said, should contain adequate information including the capabilities (technical and financial), track record, profile, and relevant information on the applicant or consortium.

This, in addition to, evidence of financial resources available for the proposed project and should include a business plan. That plan, the Ministry said, must include a description of the proposed project, details on land required and related infrastructure, required quantities of gas and electricity (capacity [MWhr] and energy [kWhr]), with information on expected pricing, volumes, and ability to manage potential variable gas flows.

The Ministry in its invitation noted too, that the decision on Wales was taken after extensive evaluation of multiple sites with ExxonMobil Guyana Limited (EEPGL). The Wales Development Zone (WDZ), it said, has been identified as the termination point for the pipeline from the Liza Area in the Stabroek Block, offshore Guyana.

The WDZ encompasses over 14,000+ acres of land of which approximately 1,300 acres will be set aside for heavy Industry/gas-related investments. The project, according to stakeholders, is expected to see some 27 kilometres of pipeline being buried from the Crane, West Coast Demerara (WCD) location to Wales, in addition to some 200 plus kilometres of pipeline from the Stabroek Block where the Liza Destiny Floating Production Storage and Offloading Vessel is located.

According to the administration, WDZ will be the location for the termination of the gas-pipeline measuring over 225 km from the Liza Area. Additionally, it will involve the establishment of a gas-processing plant (GPP) and a natural gas liquids facility (NGL) capable of producing at least 4,000 bbl./day, including the fractionation of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

Private partners

The private partners will also be expected to take part in the operations of the establishment of a power plant to generate 150 MW, with an additional 150 MW as a second phase in addition to the establishment of an industrial park comprising industries that can utilise gas, steam and/or electricity.

Interested parties were given up to August 29 to submit proposals.

Additionally, ‘proposals will be especially welcome for small scale ammonia/urea, protein synthesis, cement, glass manufacture, ceramics, and other industries that rely on gas, steam, or electricity,’ the Ministry advertisement stated. It noted too, that responses dealing with power generation should detail comparable projects completed, recommended technology, type and capacity of equipment specification related to the gas needed, back-up fuel optionality in the event of interruptions of natural gas flow, capability to use rich gas as fuel to account for NGL plant downtime, required gas per MW installed, generation costs, ability to build in a modular fashion, environmental and emissions impacts, and timelines/key milestones. With regards to the use of additional gases, the invitation detailed that responses dealing with NGLs should provide details of expectations on markets (local and regional), expected input prices, expected sale prices, level of investment on required infrastructure, proposed changes to the current configuration of the existing market, and ability to work with local partners and Government.

Three aspects

The gas-to-energy project will encompass three major aspects – the pipeline to transport the gas to Wales, West Bank Demerara, the NGL facility that will treat and separate the gas and the power plant to generate the electricity. This publication had reported that Guyanese have been told that the pipeline aspect, which is being pursued by US oil major, ExxonMobil’s subsidiary—Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), will cost around US$1.3 billion. Even this is expected to increase when Exxon closes critical contracts for same. The main Opposition and several industry stakeholders have urged the Government to conduct a new feasibility study for the project and also insist the nation should first see the contract for the venture before Government signs on.

Last week Mr. Lall had warned that the venture could be another ‘Ponzi Scheme’ – the likes of the Marriott Hotel and the Berbice River Bridge deals that are mired in secrecy. An advocate for a better oil deal, Lall said that the Government must be stopped in its track with this project. “Just a reminder, the gas-to-shore (-energy) project, if we don’t see the contract, we could end up just like the Marriott Hotel and the Berbice Bridge. Bharrat Jagdeo, Ashni Singh and Winston Brassington – the three of them designed that contract in which they designed that deal and installed private people secretly. You would believe that the PPP come out of office, the Coalition was in there and they could not find out or know who those secret people in the Marriott Hotel were that were milking the money, whether the hotel made a profit or not. It’s almost the same thing they did with the Berbice Bridge – the couple private people they installed, including Jagdeo best friend who owns the single largest block of shares in the bridge, were guaranteed payments regardless whether the bridge makes money or lose money. Them boys pocket secure, they can never lose with such a sweet deal. So if we are not careful and demand to see this gas-to-shore project before it is finalised by Jagdeo and Brassington, we won’t be back in the same boat as the Berbice Bridge and Marriott, we would be on a huge barge sailing to hell,” Lall said.

He insisted that Guyana’s external debt is already over US$3B, yet the Government is forging ahead with the project which will add another US$2B to the debt stock. “Could you believe that all Guyana debt is presently US$3B and we can’t pay, but we are going to add US$2B more to that US$3B on the gas-to-shore project with a few private people inside?”

Lall argued that to date, the Government has not told the nation “or show us how this project will benefit Guyana or if it will ever benefit the Guyanese people.” Lall added, “We must all stand up to ensure that this deal is not signed in secret and has confidentiality clauses that keep us out of the loop and in the dark from knowing what is it we are giving away and what we are getting. We must know the ins and outs, the pros and cons. After all, that US$2B gas plant and pipeline investment is money that will be coming out every day from your oil, shortening your pocket while fattening the pockets of private people.”







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