House throws out Opposition motion to ‘stall’ gas-to-energy project
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Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat
Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat

MINISTER of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, has reaffirmed that the US$900 million gas-to-energy project, which is expected to cut energy costs by 50 per cent, will be Guyana’s most transformational project.

Defending the government’s development plan, the Natural Resources Minister said the highly-anticipated gas-to-energy project will provide a reliable and sustainable source of energy to the grid.

The natural gas from the Liza developments in the Stabroek Block will serve as the catalyst and transition fuel for Guyana, as the world looks to achieve net-zero carbon emission by 2050.

Opposition Member of Parliament, David Patterson, brought a formal proposal to the House, asking that the National Assembly put the transformational project on hold and instead send it to a Special Select Committee.

That motion was, however, voted down following intense debates in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.

One of several ministers to defend the project, Minister Bharrat said every Guyanese will benefit from the massive infrastructural development.

“This project is probably the most critical, most transformational project that we will witness in the history of this country. Every Guyanese will benefit, cost of living will be reduced and improve the standard of living. We cannot stall such an important and critical project,” Minister Bharrat said.

Further, the project will catalyse growth in other productive sectors, particularly manufacturing and agro-processing. Importantly too, the project will create hundreds of jobs for Guyanese.

Responding to the motion, Minister Bharrat said: “[It] sounds like a lot of questions that could have been asked different and a lot of wild assertions. It sounds as though there was a plan to misrepresent the truth.

“The coalition’s aim is to slow down the gas-to-energy project, the Corentyne River Bridge, the new Demerara Harbour Bridge, new highways, the energy mix development of hydro and solar, modern and international healthcare and education services, as well as the distribution of house lots to people who need them.”

He added: “We as a country, need to move forward with development and our developmental agenda and we want to say to the coalition that if you are serious about development and you want to get onboard on the development train, then our arms are open.”

The gas-to-energy project which is expected to come on stream by late 2024, is expected to reduce Guyana’s energy sector emissions. The project will also cut electricity costs by more than half.

The cost has long been regarded by the private sector as prohibitive to investments. Hence, the government expects the gas-to-energy project to revolutionise and significantly improve the ease of doing business in Guyana.

Just last week, the government through the Ministry of Natural Resources, received bids for the pre-qualification for the gas-to-energy project under the natural gas fired power plant and natural gas liquids (NGL) plant. (DPI)

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