lunes, 31 de mayo de 2010

No concuerdan los diferentes costos del proyecto hidroeléctrico de Amaila








Tomado de:
Govt, developer cite different costs for Amaila hydro plant

Posted By Stabroek staff On May 31, 2010 @ 5:16 am In Local News
There appears to be uncertainty as to what the actual cost of constructing the Amaila Falls Hydroelectric Plant (AFHEP) will be with the project’s developers Sithe Global LLC and the government citing different prices.


In a letter published in last week’s Sunday edition of all four daily newspapers, Rafael Herz, Sithe Global’s Project Manager for the AFHEP said that the price for the project would be US$650 million. This figure, according to Herz, included an estimated US$190 million for the transmission line and other supporting infrastructure. The government, in a recent release, however estimated that the entire project would cost some US$616 million. The release said the actual construction cost of the plant is US$450 million (US$306 million for the actual hydro construction and US$145 million for the transmission line, clearing of its corridor and for the road). According to the release, interest during construction, the debt reserve fund and construction contingency would account for US$165 million. This would put the project at a total price tag of US$616 million.


“Finance for this project comes from two sources–debt and equity,” the government said, as it stated that “the debt is expected to come from the Chinese and the IDB at single digit rates”. The statement said too that equity is being injected by Sithe Global LLC with the government having the option to inject funds and buy down the company’s equity. Herz had said that the US$15.4 million set aside for the building of the road to the site, is part of the government’s equity in the project.


According to the government, the equity of Sithe Global will earn 20 percent per annum, which it said was a lower rate than similar private sector infrastructure investments in other emerging economies. The administration also stressed that as the developer Sithe Global LLC is bearing “the development risk for the project.” The US-based company says it will contribute more than US$150 million in equity.


Meanwhile, Herz said that once the access road is completed and debt financing obtained, the intention is to start construction on the hydro plant in early 2011. According to him, “Sithe Global’s core management team has successfully led the development or acquisition of over 50 power plants comprising over 15,000 MWs globally.” He said that since combining forces with the Blackstone group in 2005, “Sithe Global has raised nearly US$3 billion in capital to finance three greenfield projects totalling 1.725 MV included the 250 MW Bujagali hydroelectric project in Uganda, which will effectively double that country’s generation.” This project plant in Uganda has been plagued with much controversy and is proving to be one of the most expensive in the world, with a price tag so far of US$860 million. Recent reports indicate that when completed the dam would not result in lower electricity tariffs for Ugandans in spite of promises from the project sponsors that this would be the result.


Herz also said that 20 years after its completion, the hydropower plant will be transferred from private ownership and the property of the Guyanese government at no additional cost. The government said that after this period, the operating costs of the plant will be very low. “As a result of this project, and other savings in costs that GPL can achieve, GPL projects that average tariffs to customers can decline by 40% when the hydro comes on stream in 2014.


The project is supposed to see a 154-megawatt hydroelectric plant being built on the Kuribrong River, a tributary of the Potaro River in Region Seven (Cuyuni/ Mazaruni). The project has been on the cards for several years and has become even more pivotal with the government’s recent pursuit of a Low Carbon Development Strategy.


The project has caused significant controversy recently, especially after Synergy Holdings Inc was awarded the contract to build the access roads to the site. The concern has been whether Synergy Holdings has the experience and technical skill to build these roads. The government insists that it has but has not produced documentation to support this claim.


Nota del editor del blog: Al referenciarse a la República Cooperativa de Guyana se deben de tener en cuenta los 159.500Km2, de territorios ubicados al oeste del río Esequibo conocidos con el nombre de Guayana Esequiba o Zona en Reclamación sujetos al Acuerdo de Ginebra del 17 de febrero de 1966.


Territorios estos sobre los cuales el gobierno Venezolano en representación de la Nación venezolana se reservo sus derechos sobre los territorios de la Guayana Esequiba en su nota del 26 de mayo de 1966 al reconocerse al nuevo Estado de Guyana .
“...por lo tanto, Venezuela reconoce como territorio del nuevo Estado, el que se sitúa al este de la margen derecha del río Esequibo y reitera ante la comunidad internacional, que se reserva expresamente sus derechos de soberanía territorial sobre la zona que se encuentra en la margen izquierda del precitado río; en consecuencia, el territorio de la Guayana Esequiba sobre el cual Venezuela se reserva expresamente sus derechos soberanos, limita al Este con el nuevo Estado de Guyana, a través de la línea del río Esequibo, tomando éste desde su nacimiento hasta su desembocadura en el Océano Atlántico...”

domingo, 30 de mayo de 2010

El proyecto hidroeléctrico y carretera: ¿de quién es, de Sinergia Holdings Inc.?







Tomado de:
The Amaila Falls Road Project: Whose synergy?

Posted By Christopher Ram On May 30, 2010 @ 5:11 am In Features, Sunday
This and previous articles are available at Chrisram.net


Introduction
Today’s column continues this series on the award of a US$15.4 million contract made by the government to Synergy Holdings Inc. for the construction of a road leading to the Amaila Falls, the site identified for the hydro-electricity project (AFHEP). Let us start with what we know: Mr Fip Motilall was given a licence by the President to develop the Amaila hydro project; the contract to construct the road to the project site flies in the face of common sense, economic logic and the Procurement Act; there are conflicting estimates of the cost and consequences to electricity consumers of the cost of power when the hydro-electricity facility comes into commercial operation. Beyond these basic pieces of information, there is a huge void. While the public pleads in vain with the government for details, columnists and letter writers seek to fill the void by undertaking extensive research to help the public understand what is being done in their name and for which they will bear the costs and receive the benefits.


The opposition PNCR a couple of weeks ago asked for the tabling of the Amaila Falls arrangements in the National Assembly. Nothing has been heard about that request but the leadership of that party was given a wonderful opportunity earlier this past week to pursue it when President Jagdeo invited them to meet him over local government elections. It was an opportune time to remind the President that under item 6 of the May 6, 2003 Communiqué he had committed to lay in the National Assembly “all existing and future agreements for GPL and the rest of the electricity sector.”


They could have gone further and reminded President Jagdeo that he had said to President Carter in August 2004 that “the government stands by all the commitments made in this agreement between him and PNC Chairman [sic] Corbin.”


Broken promises

Broken promises from President Jagdeo are nothing new but what is new and painful is that we are left with huge and frightening information gaps on critical aspects of what could be the largest project ever to be undertaken in the country. We cannot forget the President’s record on the largest to date – the Skeldon Factory in which he played the deciding role and which leaves the country in a big financial hole. The Skeldon project has so far been an embarrassing and costly burden – perhaps even bigger than critics had warned – and the demands on the taxpayers keep rising while budget targets made by the corporation’s dream team one year become useless the next.


As Skeldon has shown, the bigger and grander the project, the higher the risks and the greater the consequences of failure. Unfortunately caution is not a virtue associated with this government, and we seem to run blindly into disaster. The parallels between GuySuCo’s Skeldon Project and the Amaila project are frightening.


Conflicting numbers

There are essentially two projects involved with Amaila – the road and the hydro-electricity project itself. That the road project will cost taxpayers only the face value of the contract (US$15.4 million) cannot be assumed. The Request for Proposal said nothing about duty and tax concessions borne by the taxpayers but which could have made a huge difference to the bid price if one bidder was given exclusive assurance about tax concessions, disguised subsidies, or overruns.


The engineer’s estimate of the cost of the road project including bridges is in excess of US$20 million so we have to prepare ourselves for some major cost overruns. Dr Luncheon who was the first to defend the contract process now says that Synergy is behind the eight ball, which in billiards means in a losing position. If translated that means that Synergy cannot deliver on the contract, then the government will have no option but to throw more money into the road contract.


Dr Luncheon should have been more direct and tell us what the failure by Synergy to deliver the road project on time and on budget will mean, which is what the public needs to know. Instead it is another layer of confusion, coming just a couple of days ago after the government sought to contradict its own project manager/sponsor over the cost of the hydro project. In a letter to the local press Mr Rafael Herz, Sithe’s designated Project Manager said the estimated cost of the dam, powerhouse, transmission line and substations was US$650 million (including an estimated US$190 million for the transmission line and other supporting infrastructure). Two days later the government disputed the number, placing the figure at $495 million inclusive of the transmission line. And if we go back one year ago, the President had announced that “final studies” on the project would have been completed in August 2009 and that the bid for the project was US$600M. The final studies have clearly not been done, or costs determined.


Assuming there is a cost number, somewhere in this range, someone should say what it is. The difference between the two most recent numbers is 31% of what the government is now saying the figure should be. Hopefully, the press will seek an explanation from Mr Herz. Amid all the confusion then there is a project of at best uncertain cost. The reality is that there may be no actual number because there is as yet no contract for the construction of the hydro project itself. We know that Mr Motilall has the licence but whether that allows him to decide who will build the hydro-electricity project is not known, or what the guaranteed/ceiling price which GPL, the project’s customer will have to pay. The terms of the licence could help but that too is top secret.


The project licence

If anyone knows anything about the licence for the big deal that person is not letting on. Under the Hydro Electric Power Act (HEP), any licence has to be applied for to the Chief Works and Hydraulics Officer and is issued by the President. The application would contain critical technical and financial information evidencing vital capacity to fund, build and operate a hydro-electricity project. Since Synergy does not now possess those virtues, it was unlikely to have had them at the time the licence was issued to it in July 2002. It should therefore consider itself lucky that the President issued it with a licence in 2002 and then extended it first in October 2004, and then in 2006 for one year, even as its inadequacy became increasingly obvious. Section 7 of the HEP requires the payment of rent and royalties about which nothing has been heard, including whether Synergy has met such payment obligations. This is all very forgiving, considering the Financial Management and Accountability Act which requires special legislative authority.


A May 2006 MOU referred to in the third part of this series provided that the extended licence “shall be terminable by the government at any time during the one year extension” if Synergy failed to complete certain targets. The one year came and went, targets were set and missed, while Synergy committed to but never supplied a 25 MW thermal generating plant, because it never found the money to do so. Surely very few other than the President would entrust a 154 MW hydro-electricity project to a person who could not deliver a 25 MW of thermal power which can be bought on the internet.


But when it comes to Synergy all we have had from the government is grandstanding. In early 2008 the President threatened that if financial closure did not take place soon, the company would lose the “franchise” to build and operate the hydro facility. More than two years later, instead of terminating the licence and seeking a more reputable licensee, the government is now planning to put more taxpayers’ money into Synergy’s hands.


Scale of the project

Uncertainty also arises over the scale of the project and whether it is a single phase project or whether the 154 MW is just for starters. In August 2009 it was reported that Phase I would involve the installation of 154 MW capacity, Phase II 410MW and in Phase III, it would reach a further 1060 MW. If this is anywhere close to serious, we have to ask whether the Amaila Falls area has that volume of water, whether the second and third phases of the project go automatically to Synergy, who will buy this extra capacity, who will finance the later phases, and when does the BOOT kick in.


The Russians with their bauxite and the Brazilians have already indicated that they have their own ideas and ambitions about hydro-electric power in Guyana, which suggests that they are not interested in doing business with Synergy or Amaila. So the expansion may be a dream, a distraction or idle talk. Whichever it is, the public needs to know.


Start date

For starters, Synergy was under an obligation to begin construction of the hydro-electricity project in 2007 with commercial operation taking place in 2010. It failed miserably. The project manager-designate now says that construction will begin in early 2011 but with two caveats. The first is the completion of the road to enable the transportation of equipment and machinery and the second, obtaining debt financing. Now those are major caveats.


There is a lot of cynicism around and many even doubted that the AFHEP would get started. I think that with the single-mined obstinacy of the President and his adventurous way of committing state funds, the project will get going. But the President is returning from Oslo empty handed and with growing uncertainty about the timing of the inflow from Norway. The Budget already has a huge hole and his expressed impatience in Oslo when he realised the Norwegians and other donors were not sending him back with a bagful of money was his recognition of a potentially major setback. Maybe there is a link between human rights, extra-judicial killings and Amaila. On the positive side, the East Bank Demerara schoolchildren are spared the need to line the road for the President’s return which will be contrastingly low key.


Next week we look at cost, sources of funding and their implications for rates.


Nota del editor del blog: Al referenciarse a la República Cooperativa de Guyana se deben de tener en cuenta los 159.500Km2, de territorios ubicados al oeste del río Esequibo conocidos con el nombre de Guayana Esequiba o Zona en Reclamación sujetos al Acuerdo de Ginebra del 17 de febrero de 1966.


Territorios estos sobre los cuales el gobierno Venezolano en representación de la Nación venezolana se reservo sus derechos sobre los territorios de la Guayana Esequiba en su nota del 26 de mayo de 1966 al reconocerse al nuevo Estado de Guyana .
“...por lo tanto, Venezuela reconoce como territorio del nuevo Estado, el que se sitúa al este de la margen derecha del río Esequibo y reitera ante la comunidad internacional, que se reserva expresamente sus derechos de soberanía territorial sobre la zona que se encuentra en la margen izquierda del precitado río; en consecuencia, el territorio de la Guayana Esequiba sobre el cual Venezuela se reserva expresamente sus derechos soberanos, limita al Este con el nuevo Estado de Guyana, a través de la línea del río Esequibo, tomando éste desde su nacimiento hasta su desembocadura en el Océano Atlántico...”

De cómo la Sra. Alisha Ousman detuvo la destrucción de las Cataratas de Bakara en Guyana (la Guayana Esequiba)











La Guayana Esequiba
Sra. Alisha Ousman
Tomado de:
How Alisha Ousman’s stand halted the obliteration of Barakara Falls
Posted By Iana Seales On May 30, 2010 @ 5:24 am In Local News

Alisha Ousman feels the tourism industry sat quietly by and allowed BK International to openly discuss tearing down Barakara Falls, “no one seemed to care,” she said. But she was prepared to fight the company even if it meant standing up alone.


Ousman had no idea how she was going to take on BK; a bit intimidated and uncertain of an approach she sat down one night and almost cried, she said. The issue had been in the press for two days and not a single phone call to the relevant authorities was returned, she recalled, and solidarity from other tour operators was “nothing but a pipe dream”.


Her company, Wonderland Tours depended on the income it pulled in from tours to Barakara Falls, which was included in its Mazaruni River tour package. She said the falls was more accessible than others in the country and an instant hit with tourists. But there was more, to lose Barakara meant letting go of a part of the environment which she had become attached to. According to Ousman, Barakara “just grew on me”.


Her description of the falls makes for good listening, particularly when she speaks of the trail and stumbling across the occasional snake or a getting wet in the rain on the way there. She said the natural beauty of the area humbles any visitor and that the falls has a soothing effect on the senses.


“Why anyone would want to destroy this place is beyond me. It is so beautiful which is a large part of the reason why I fought for it. We promote environmental protection here and that is what I believe I was doing, I don’t think people can look at this situation and call it anything different,” Ousman said in a recent interview with Stabroek News.


A few years ago the environment was not even on her mind. Alisha was in New York City having migrated after secondary school and the business which her father, Richard Ousman started in Guyana back in 1986, was not in her future plans. She worked as a bartender and later an event planner, “making good money,” she said. She spent seven years working in the city and growing up on her own; occasionally her dad visited but then he fell ill and the visits ceased.


Richard Ousman, a pioneer in the tourism industry here and widely respected, spent his last few days at home alone prior to Alisha’s return. One day something pushed her to leave New York and she just packed up and came back home without telling her father. She returned just in time to spend a short while with him. She picked up critical business tips from her father after agreeing to keep the family business going, but was unprepared for what was to come. He subsequently died.


Ousman said rumours started circulating after her father’s death which tied her to his tragic passing. She brushed them off and decided that people were not going to welcome her with open arms; she also decided that finding friends in the industry was going to be tough so she made no real attempts. Her focus was on keeping Wonderland Tours going and spent the last few years sustaining a business which she promised her father would continue “no matter what”. She said people actually wanted her to fail and she came close a few times, but pressed on and later she found a business partner in her husband, Mario. The two strategised a way forward for the business and worked on a plan to not only keep it afloat, but restore its prestigious ranking among local tour operators.


‘A thousand calls’
Business had picked up after an aggressive marketing campaign, Ousman said, but she was also candid in admitting that within the last year it slowed down dramatically owing to the global financial crisis. However, the Mazaruni tour package remained popular. “I made a thousand calls. I’m exaggerating a bit but it was many, and every single person ignored me. I didn’t know what to do then Gem [Madhoo-Nascimento] told me to talk to the press and I did. I did it with the hope that someone would read the story and speak out against what was happening,” Alisha said of the damage which was reported at Barakara Falls.


Her husband discovered the destruction at the falls after fielding a tour there on May 2 and the story went public on May 5. What he and many tourists had seen was a mud trail in the place of the old one and downgraded vegetation, the result of ongoing works by BK International in the area. For two days Alisha called around and came up empty. She quickly realized support was not easy to pick up and decided to confront Managing Director of BK International, Brian Tiwari.


BK International organised a media tour to the area after claiming responsibility for what happened and Ousman decided to show up on the tour. What happened after was widely reported; Ousman confronted Tiwari and the two had a very public disagreement over Barakara Falls. She told Stabroek News that Tiwari refused to grant her a private audience on the day in question and actually urged her to say whatever she had to say in the presence of the media. “I wanted to speak with him privately and he said no. I decided to speak with the media, I just poured my heart out,” she recalled.
On that day Ousman dismissed the announcement by BK International that it was going to develop the Teperu Hydro-Falls as an alternative spot to Barakara Falls. She criticised the company for wrecking the environment in the name of money and said that it would be Guyana that ultimately suffered, and she vowed then to take the fight to an international level.


Disappointed
Ousman said she left the area that day disappointed in Tiwari’s conduct, but largely depressed because she was unable to convince him to change his mind about Barakara. The following day she emailed stories and pictures of what was happening at the falls to several international media agencies and later received a call from CNN in addition to calls from persons overseas who were concerned; the calls renewed her strength to press on and she continued fighting. “I didn’t hear from anyone in this country,” she recalled.


She later visited the Guyana Geology and Mines (GGMC) and requested to see a copy of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) which Tiwari said was done in the area and had favoured his position. The EIA report revealed “interesting things” as she discovered that it had recommended that the company protect Barakara Falls and its immediate area from development activity. “This site represents an important tourist attraction and place of solace and relaxation for residents, locals and visitors to the area,” the report said. It also recommended that Linden Quarries, which is owned by BK International, in addition to securing the area from development “undertake intervention to enhance the site through clearing and maintenance of the trail, rehabilitation of footbridges, installation of signs, and perhaps the construction of small benabs around the vicinity of the rapid.


Ousman later found out that GGMC went into the area and had issued a cease order, and additionally, BK International gave a commitment to restore the site.
She said people needed to understand why she was concerned and determined to “put a stop” to what was happening; it was about standing up when no other person wanted to. She said if no one had opposed what BK was proposing the falls could have been history and her business would have suffered tremendously. She said the authorities need to provide an update on the situation and report on when BK International intends to restore the area.


“The site is the same and I am aware people are meeting and discussing certain things, but no one is saying anything to us and at the very least the relevant authorities need to fix a timeline when the falls would be accessible again and ensure that the company sticks to it,” Ousman said.


She said she is still amazed at how deeply involved she is in the business and how important the legacy is to her. She believes her father would have been proud of her growth, and that he is looking down at her and swelling up with even more pride because of her little victory at Barakara Falls. “He loved that Mazaruni area, he really did,” she said.


Nota del editor del blog: Al referenciarse a la República Cooperativa de Guyana se deben de tener en cuenta los 159.500Km2, de territorios ubicados al oeste del río Esequibo conocidos con el nombre de Guayana Esequiba o Zona en Reclamación sujetos al Acuerdo de Ginebra del 17 de febrero de 1966.


Territorios estos sobre los cuales el gobierno Venezolano en representación de la Nación venezolana se reservo sus derechos sobre los territorios de la Guayana Esequiba en su nota del 26 de mayo de 1966 al reconocerse al nuevo Estado de Guyana .
“...por lo tanto, Venezuela reconoce como territorio del nuevo Estado, el que se sitúa al este de la margen derecha del río Esequibo y reitera ante la comunidad internacional, que se reserva expresamente sus derechos de soberanía territorial sobre la zona que se encuentra en la margen izquierda del precitado río; en consecuencia, el territorio de la Guayana Esequiba sobre el cual Venezuela se reserva expresamente sus derechos soberanos, limita al Este con el nuevo Estado de Guyana, a través de la línea del río Esequibo, tomando éste desde su nacimiento hasta su desembocadura en el Océano Atlántico...”

viernes, 28 de mayo de 2010

Guayana Esequiba (Zona en Reclamación) Proyecto Hidroeléctrico en el Alto Mazaruni



The 'Kurupunq/Upper Mazaruni' Hydro-Electric Project


I attach articles on the so-called "Kurupung project" which is being contemplated as a deal involving RUSAL and the Brazilians (possibly Electrobras) in Guyana. It entails a hydro project with a power station at Kurupung. Kurupung is just below the Pakaraima escarpment. You can see the view from the lowlands, looking at the escarpment, on p. 132 in my book. I understand that a lot of felling of forest has been taking place in the Kurupung area in recent years: there is a uranium mining company at work. In the 1950s there was a small village of pork knockers only.


What is not stated in these articles is that the lake for the hydro project would be in the upper Mazaruni basin. In other words, this is a revival of the upper Mazaruni hydro project of the 1970s and 80s, which was turned down by the World Bank and opposed by the Venezuelan Government of the time as contradicting the terms of the Treaty of Geneva, 1966 (whereby neither Venezuela nor Guyana was to carry out any development in 'Essequibo'which would advance the claim of one country against the other - and which provided a mechanism for settlement of the boundary via a UN Good Officer).


Survival International Document VI, 1978, published the details of the project under the title "The Damned". The plight of the Akawaio Indians of Guyana. The information in it was based on studies made by the Yugoslav firm' Energo Projekt. Then the Swedish consultants SWECO were called in. In their Report SWECO commented on the immensity of the reservoir area. The third, final phase would entail an area of c. 1,000 sq.miles (2,590 sq. km.) of inundation. When plotted on a map, this showed that all the villages and settlements in the upper Mazaruni would be under water with the possible exception of Chinowieng, on the Ayanganna plateau, to the south in the Chai-Chai area of the upper Mazaruni head which is scheduled to be dammed in the ultimate phases of the Amaila Falls hydro project (the Chai-Chai - Potaro Diversion)!
The site of the dam is Sand Landing (Latipu), 20 miles down river from Kamarang Mouth. The Yugoslav Report referred to a dam 226 ft. high. The catchment area would be 3,861 sq. miles (10,000 sq.km). Total output of energy, in the third phase was calculated as 3,500 MW.


The installations included:
A High Dam (at Sand Landing, upper Mazaruni River).
A Power Station (at Kurupung).
Two water conveyance tunnels.
A Power Transmission Corridor.
An Access Road.


Establishment of a New Town to house families of workers, personnel in general, schools, stores, etc. This was originally to be sited on a small flat area of grassland above Kumarow Fall,
a short distance up the Pakaraima escarpment. (See "Land" p.
132, which has a photograh of the Fall.)


A smelter producing 200,000 tonnes per annum would need 430 MW. So far Rusal is contemplating a bauxite smelter and refinery: Bosai wants 2 smelters and a refinery. The Brazilians want to puchase energy for the development of Boa Vista and Estado Roraima in general (and presumably would not want to build a Cotingo River dam if they can get their energy from Guyana). We can also surmise that if Brazil gets a deep water harbour on the Atlantic Coast, it will most likely be in the Essequibo Estuary and developments there will need energy.


One of the major criticisms of the upper Mazaruni Dam project of the 1970s was that there was no means of disposing of the surplus energy (and the Guri was then going strong). Being around the size of the Aswan Dam and there being well under a million people in Guyana, it was far too large. This objection has been overcome (and I would guess that the Kopinang bauxite deposit may be an important element in future increases in bauxite processing in Guyana.) It may be significant that Guyana has just appointed an Ambassador to China after a lapse of time - given the ambitions of Bosai in the Demerara.


Although the "Kurupung hydro project" may not be exactly the same as the "Upper Mazaruni hydro project" of the 70s there is every indication that they are basically the same project. Details so far seem to match (eg. the position of the power station and its energy output over 3 stages). We know that Rusal engineers have been in the upper Mazaruni surveying at Sand Landing.


Whereas previously an effort was made to bully the upper Mazaruni indigenous inhabitants to agree to the project, and to be prepared to evacuate their ancestral lands, this time so far, there is not even any mention of the thousands of people (Akawaio Kapong and Pemong) who would eventually become refugees. Nor is there any intimation of what the destruction of such a vast area of highland tropical forest will entail environmentally and climatically. Add to this the destruction of forest associated with the Amaila and the inevitable consequences which roads and tracks up the escarpment will bring to the Pakaraima Mountains at large.


As regards the Kapong people (Akawaio/Seregong and Patamona/Inkarigo): if bauxite mining displaces them in the south (upper Potaro basin) and they are flooded out in the north (upper Mazaruni basin), then maybe this would amount to ethnocide, a destruction of their society and culture, if not of the lives of what must now be some 15 - 20,000 indigenous people - to say nothing of the effects on their immediate kinsmen and neighbours on the Gran Sabana, Venezuela and in the Rio Branco, Brazil.


Nota del editor del blog: Al referenciarse a la República Cooperativa de Guyana se deben de tener en cuenta los 159.500Km2, de territorios ubicados al oeste del río Esequibo conocidos con el nombre de Guayana Esequiba o Zona en Reclamación sujetos al Acuerdo de Ginebra del 17 de febrero de 1966.


Territorios estos sobre los cuales el gobierno Venezolano en representación de la Nación venezolana se reservo sus derechos sobre los territorios de la Guayana Esequiba en su nota del 26 de mayo de 1966 al reconocerse al nuevo Estado de Guyana .
“...por lo tanto, Venezuela reconoce como territorio del nuevo Estado, el que se sitúa al este de la margen derecha del río Esequibo y reitera ante la comunidad internacional, que se reserva expresamente sus derechos de soberanía territorial sobre la zona que se encuentra en la margen izquierda del precitado río; en consecuencia, el territorio de la Guayana Esequiba sobre el cual Venezuela se reserva expresamente sus derechos soberanos, limita al Este con el nuevo Estado de Guyana, a través de la línea del río Esequibo, tomando éste desde su nacimiento hasta su desembocadura en el Océano Atlántico...”

Rodovia é chave para o futuro da Guiana




Tomado de:

Rodovia é chave para o futuro da Guiana

http://www.estadao.com.br/estadaodehoje/20100516/not_imp552460,0.php

http://www.itamaraty.gov.br/sala-de-imprensa/selecao-diaria-de-noticias/midias-nacionais/brasil/o-estado-de-sao-paulo/2010/05/16/rodovia-e-chave-para-o-futuro-da-guiana

Empresários brasileiros querem pavimentar estrada que cruza ex-colônia britânica, mas país teme a intervenção do vizinho e impactos ambientais


16 de maio de 2010 0h 00


Simon Romero, The New York Times - O Estado de S.Paulo


Um velho caminhão parou na beira da estrada. Garimpeiros entraram no bar de Peter Rajmenjan e perguntaram se ele não teria porco do mato para vender. "A única carne de caça que me sobrou é a de veado", respondeu Rajmenjan, de 55 anos, cujo estabelecimento fica no quilômetro 93 da principal estrada que corta a selva guianense.


Ela percorre mais de 480 quilômetros de Georgetown, capital da ex-colônia britânica, a Lethem, cidade em franco crescimento na fronteira com o Brasil. A estrada, muitas vezes intransitável, representa o futuro da própria Guiana. Investidores brasileiros querem pavimentar a rodovia, dando ao Norte do Brasil uma artéria moderna para exportar seus produtos.
Para a Guiana, o projeto traz riscos e recompensas. Muitos comparam o debate com uma batalha pela identidade da Guiana, nação dividida entre desejos concorrentes de explorar a economia global ou buscar um caminho ecologicamente sustentável para o desenvolvimento.


O presidente, Bharrat Jagdeo, um economista formado em Moscou, tem recebido aplausos por suas políticas de proteção florestal, mas seu governo também analisa empreendimentos bem menos ecológicos, como a extração de petróleo. Cerca de cem veículos por semana percorrem a estrada toda até Lethem, levando entre 12 horas ou dois dias, dependendo das condições do tempo. Os ambientalistas se preocupam com o impacto da estrada nas florestas. Estudos mostram que mais de 200 mil hectares serão afetados se a rodovia for pavimentada.


"Estradas asfaltadas em áreas tropicais causam desflorestamento, caça ilegal e atraem assentamentos", disse Graham Watkins, um biólogo e consultor sobre gestão de recursos naturais em Georgetown. Os que defendem a pavimentação reconhecem que haverá alguns transtornos, mas também dizem que ela poderá aliviar a pobreza da Guiana, país mais miserável da América do Sul, com renda per capita menor que a da Bolívia.


"Ao dormir com um vizinho que tem 200 vezes o seu tamanho, você sabe que ele pode não pretender, mas se rolar na cama pode ser o seu fim", disse Samuel Hinds, premiê da Guiana, refletindo o medo de o país ser engolido pelo Brasil. Hinds, porém, disse que pode apoiar o projeto desde consiga os US$ 350 milhões para financiá-lo.

Tópicos: , Internacional, Versão impressa


Nota del editor del blog: Al referenciarse a la República Cooperativa de Guyana se deben de tener en cuenta los 159.500Km2, de territorios ubicados al oeste del río Esequibo conocidos con el nombre de Guayana Esequiba o Zona en Reclamación sujetos al Acuerdo de Ginebra del 17 de febrero de 1966.


Territorios estos sobre los cuales el gobierno Venezolano en representación de la Nación venezolana se reservo sus derechos sobre los territorios de la Guayana Esequiba en su nota del 26 de mayo de 1966 al reconocerse al nuevo Estado de Guyana .
“...por lo tanto, Venezuela reconoce como territorio del nuevo Estado, el que se sitúa al este de la margen derecha del río Esequibo y reitera ante la comunidad internacional, que se reserva expresamente sus derechos de soberanía territorial sobre la zona que se encuentra en la margen izquierda del precitado río; en consecuencia, el territorio de la Guayana Esequiba sobre el cual Venezuela se reserva expresamente sus derechos soberanos, limita al Este con el nuevo Estado de Guyana, a través de la línea del río Esequibo, tomando éste desde su nacimiento hasta su desembocadura en el Océano Atlántico...”

Indígenas de Bolivia rechazan carretera financiada por Brasil


Tomado de:
http://economia.terra.com.co/noticias/noticia.aspx?idNoticia=201005262132_AFP_213200-TX-PYZ60

Tres pueblos indígenas del centro de Bolivia expresaron este miércoles en un comunicado su rechazo a la construcción de una carretera que cuenta con financiamiento del gobierno brasileño, por los daños ambientales que provocará la obra.


Los aborígenes de los pueblos Moxos, Yuracarés y Chimán señalaron que no permitirán la construcción de la carretera Villa Tunari-San Ignacio de Moxos, de 306 kilómetros y que cuenta con un financiamiento aprobado por parte de Brasil de 332 millones de dólares.


"Resolvemos rechazar contundente e innegociablemente la construcción de la carretera Villa Tunari-San Ignacio de Moxos o todo trazo carretero que afecte nuestro territorio, nuestra casa grande", expresaron los tres grupos indígenas.


Las organizaciones de los pueblos indígenas, que suman cerca de 100.000 personas, dijeron que el camino que unirá los departamentos de Cochabamba (valles) y Beni (Amazonia), "representa una amenaza a la vida de los pueblos que habitamos".


"La destrucción de nuestro territorio también es un atentado a la humanidad en su conjunto, porque ello agravará el calentamiento global", dijeron los indígenas y exigieron al presidente Evo Morales y a los gobiernos del mundo "ser consecuentes y coherentes con los derechos de la madre Tierra".


Los indígenas anunciaron que realizarán acciones de protesta, si sus pedidos no son atendidos.
jac/str/tf

miércoles, 26 de mayo de 2010

Es probable que el proyecto de la Hidroeléctrica de Amalia ( La Guayana Esequiba) inicie antes del 2012, si que se hace.




Tomado de:
Unlikely the Amaila Falls hydropower project could start before latter part of 2012 if indeed it does
Posted By Stabroek staff On May 26, 2010 @ 5:05 am In Letters
Dear Editor,


In 1976 at a proceeding of the International Seminar on Hydropower and the Environment held at the University of Guyana, the late Forbes Burnham, then Prime Minister of Guyana in his delivery of the feature address to that august group, stated that he was perturbed to hear that the first phase of hydropower generation of electricity in Guyana would be completed only in 1982. He was sure however that the skill, persistence and dedication of Guyanese involved would probably shorten that period by at least twelve months. Unfortunately, the project never got off the ground during his tenure.


In Year 2005 at the opening of GuyExpo held at the National Exhibition Centre, President Bharrat Jagdeo stated that within five years hydropower would flow from one of five sites under consideration and that discussions were ongoing with a number of potential investors. In Year 2010 negotiations are still in progress and there are hopes that he will ink a deal before he leaves office in 2011 and not allow the forest to reclaim the access roads now under construction.


In a letter which appeared in Sunday Stabroek of May 23, the Project Manager for the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project (AFHP) and Sithe Global one of its apparent financiers, stated that the goal was to “start construction in early 2011, once the access road is completed and debt financing has been obtained.” However, as reported in the same edition of SN the road is unlikely to be completed in eight months and great uncertainty surrounds project funding and its assured sources (very hazy so far) since the project financial viability with respect to its construction costs, interest rate on borrowed funds, repayment period and the energy cost per kwh, are still to be determined, information which the Project Manager stated would be shared as the project progressed.


Before construction could start on this project much work remains to be done and the Project Manager appears oblivious to this. Design of the civil, mechanical and electrical works have to be completed with the preparation of specifications and tender documents thereto. To assist in design completion, critical data still have to be collected and analyzed – EIA updating (now being undertaken), detailed geotechnical investigations for soundness of the dam, power house and reservoir sites, refinement of the estimation of water inflow patterns for the storage reservoir, etc.


After these documents are prepared, bids have to be invited, analyzed and an award made for construction. The successful bidder has to be given time for mobilization. Assuming that the multilateral financing institutions would be willing to provide financing for this project (no official announcement of their interest has been given so far) it will take them at least 18 months to process a loan application (from loan request letter to first disbursement). Hence any construction is unlikely to start before the latter part of 2012 if indeed it does.


Many believed the late President Burnham had expected that at the end of his many trials and errors he would have succeeded in building a hydropower complex in the Upper Mazaruni River to supply vast amounts of power at reasonably low prices, so as to be able to make a contribution to raising the standard of living and the quality of life of the Guyanese people. However, as he reflected in his closing remarks on the nation’s largest undertaking in 1976 to that international seminar on hydropower, he stated that he wanted to be honest with his audience and said, “the quality of honesty is being seldom attributed to politicians.” Therefore, in retrospect there is scepticism as to the intent and purpose of the government as it leads us up the garden path with respect to the AFHP.
Yours faithfully,

Charles Sohan


Nota del editor del blog: Al referenciarse a la República Cooperativa de Guyana se deben de tener en cuenta los 159.500Km2, de territorios ubicados al oeste del río Esequibo conocidos con el nombre de Guayana Esequiba o Zona en Reclamación sujetos al Acuerdo de Ginebra del 17 de febrero de 1966.


Territorios estos sobre los cuales el gobierno Venezolano en representación de la Nación venezolana se reservo sus derechos sobre los territorios de la Guayana Esequiba en su nota del 26 de mayo de 1966 al reconocerse al nuevo Estado de Guyana .
“...por lo tanto, Venezuela reconoce como territorio del nuevo Estado, el que se sitúa al este de la margen derecha del río Esequibo y reitera ante la comunidad internacional, que se reserva expresamente sus derechos de soberanía territorial sobre la zona que se encuentra en la margen izquierda del precitado río; en consecuencia, el territorio de la Guayana Esequiba sobre el cual Venezuela se reserva expresamente sus derechos soberanos, limita al Este con el nuevo Estado de Guyana, a través de la línea del río Esequibo, tomando éste desde su nacimiento hasta su desembocadura en el Océano Atlántico...”

Argentina condenó de nuevo exploración petrolera en Malvinas/Falklands


Tomado de:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/mundo/america_latina/2010/05/100524_2120_argentina_reino_unido_embajadora_jg.shtml


Redacción
BBC Mundo

B. Aires protestó por lo que considera actos "unilaterales e ilegítimos" del R. Unido por las exploraciones petroleras.


La cancillería argentina entregó este lunes a la embajadora del Reino Unido en Buenos Aires, Shan Morgan, una carta de protesta por la política británica en las islas Malvinas/Falklands, en respuesta a la queja de Londres por los controles marítimos impuestos por Argentina alrededor del archipiélago.


En la misiva, Buenos Aires protestó por lo que considera actos "unilaterales e ilegítimos" del Reino Unido por las exploraciones petroleras autorizadas en la plataforma continental de las islas, según informaron fuentes de la cancillería.


En cuanto a la queja británica por la decisión argentina de imponer controles marítimos en las proximidades de las islas del Atlántico Sur, la cancillería sostuvo en la carta que las normas impuestas "regulan el tráfico marítimo de cabotaje entre puertos ubicados en territorio argentino, y, por ende, son acordes con el derecho del mar".


clic Lea: Malvinas o Falklands: Argentina cita a embajadora británica


Además, Argentina invitó de nuevo al Reino Unido a reanudar las negociaciones sobre la disputa por la soberanía de las islas, que se reavivó luego de que empresas británicas reiniciaran hace unos meses operaciones de explotación petrolera en la zona.


A raíz del inicio de esas operaciones, la presidenta argentina Cristina Fernández firmó el decreto 256 que exige a los barcos que naveguen por aguas argentinas que soliciten un permiso especial, aunque el ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores británico sostiene que las "áreas marítimas circundantes" a las islas "no son aguas jurisdiccionales de Argentina".


Londres también apela a la Ley Internacional y a la Convención de Naciones Unidas sobre el Derecho del Mar, que establecen que todos los barcos tienen derecho al pasaje legal por aguas territoriales "y tienen libertad de navegación en aguas más allá del mar territorial".


Viraje

Fernández llamó al nuevo gobierno británico a iniciar conversaciones sobre la soberanía de las islas.


Durante la última cumbre entre la Unión Europea y América Latina celebrada en Madrid, la presidenta Fernández llamó al nuevo gobierno británico -formado por conservadores y liberales- a iniciar conversaciones sobre la soberanía de las islas.


Pero voceros del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores británico respondieron que el país europeo "no tenía dudas" acerca de su soberanía sobre las islas.


La corresponsal de BBC Mundo en Buenos Aires, Valeria Perasso, explicó que en la Cancillería argentina hay preocupación por lo que se interpreta como un viraje importante en la estrategia diplomática del Reino Unido.


clic Lea: Malvinas o Falklands: Argentina quiere hablar con el nuevo gobierno británico


Según Perasso, el nuevo gobierno conservador parece haber tomado un rol más proactivo en la defensa de la soberanía que reclaman sobre las islas del Atlántico Sur, en lugar de limitarse a responder a las presentaciones de Buenos Aires, como venía ocurriendo.


Argentina alega -en palabras de su vicecanciller Victorio Taccetti- que la de los británicos es una "postura de mera fuerza", mientras que la del país sudamericano estaría fundamentada más cabalmente en el derecho internacional, señaló nuestra corresponsal.


El conflicto entre Argentina y el Reino Unido por la soberanía de las islas del Atlántico Sur llevó a ambos países a un conflicto bélico en 1982, en el que murieron 270 militares británicos y cerca de 650 argentinos.

domingo, 23 de mayo de 2010

El proyecto hidroeléctrico y carretera: ¿de quién es, de Sinergia Holdings Inc.?



Tomado de:
The Amaila Falls Road Project: Whose synergy?
Posted By Christopher Ram On May 23, 2010 @ 5:12 am In Features, Sunday


Introduction



Last week I addressed the process by which Synergy was awarded the contract with a price tag of US$15.4 million for road and transmission line construction in connection with the Amaila Falls Hydro Electricity Project (AFHEP). The process was led by the government-owned private company NICIL, identified as the agency responsible for coordinating the project. The Request for Proposals was in the name of the Government of Guyana through NICIL. Now it must be remembered that in 2003 the National Assembly passed a Procurement Act which requires the government to comply with the provisions of the act in relation to all procurements. With a contract price of over G$3 billion, the contract comes easily under the National Tender Board. It seems, however, that the government was unwilling to take the legally mandatory route, choosing instead NICIL, seen as a pliant and useful vehicle by which the Procurement Act could be bypassed, without anyone noticing or complaining, and with complete impunity.


Of the seventeen firms originally registering an interest in the project, only the following four submitted tenders which, given the scope and challenges inherent in the work to be done, should have excited some concern at the governmental level. An obvious problem was the short time frame for putting together a proposal requiring considerable details which because of its involvement in the project over several years, gave Synergy a distinct edge.
1. Synergy Holdings Inc – USD15,400,000
2. A consortium comprising, B&J Civil Works, Ivor Allen & Dynamic Engineering Co Ltd – USD16,650,000
3. BK International Inc – USD21,037,500
4. Mr. Roopan Ramotar - USD26,000,000.


No right to complain


By virtue of their submission, only those four – or rather three, since the successful bidder is not expected to complain – enjoyed a right to challenge any perceived wrongdoing in the tender process. The law allows complaints only from a supplier or contractor who claims to have suffered, or who may suffer loss or damage due to a breach of a duty imposed on a procuring entity by the act and its subsidiary legislation. It also gives them the right to ask for information relating to the qualification, or lack thereof, of suppliers or contractors that submitted tenders.


Taxpayers who bear all costs, including the cost of corruption and inefficiencies should these occur, are not the suppliers or contractors and so they have to stand on the sidelines as passive victims, unable to challenge any substantive or procedural legal improprieties, however egregious or unlawful.


The law provides that where a contract has already been awarded, a complaint can be made to the Bid Protest Committee required under the act, but this is yet to be appointed. Not surprisingly the Finance Ministry does not seem to be aware of the rules governing the establishment of this committee, or maybe it suspects that no one would dare protest.


Despite the misgivings about the project award, none of the bidders is willing to challenge the propriety of the process or to ask for information presumably because they all benefit from other government contracts and would fear jeopardising their chances with other contracts. In their own way, the contractors contribute to the lawlessness and boldness that underlie this bid process and award.

Synergy’s qualifications


The Procurement Act sets out the criteria which a contractor must meet to qualify for a particular contract. These are essentially but not identically set out on page 8 of the RFP issued by NICIL. Information is widely available that Synergy did not meet any of these tests, but owing to sloppy background checks or self-delusion, the Ministry of Finance (MoF), NICIL and the government seem to think otherwise. For example, the MoF claims that Synergy has expertise and experience in building roads through forests, a claim that even Synergy does not make, and which is not supported by readily available information.


Synergy is a company in which Mr Fip Motilall is the sole director and secretary. Its total authorised capital is US$25,000 but because it has never filed an annual return it is not possible to know whether it has issued any shares or whether it has ever had its books audited. In other words, for all we know Synergy may be a paper company with no shareholders, no money, no audit and no other statutory compliance. Clearly, compliance with basic law is not seen as an impediment for the award of a government contract worth US$15.4 million. Co-incidentally, Synergy shares this disregard for the law with NICIL, the project co-ordinator.

Fact, fiction and fantasy


Synergy’s greatest strength seems to lie in its luck and the salesmanship of Mr Motilall, a Guyanese who migrated to the US several years ago. He successfully persuaded the US government to provide him with funds to do a study of the Amaila Falls hydro-project, and the Guyana government to enter into an agreement for his company to develop that project into an operational entity.


On its website, Synergy describes itself as the developer to design, build, own and operate a hydroelectric plant in Guyana. One immediately notes the absence of any obligation to transfer the plant to the government and wonders whether this is another attempt to mislead potential investors. The company claims that in 1997, it identified a dire need for electrical power generation in Guyana and sought to fill this need by harnessing the hydro potential of the country. In 1998, it joint-ventured with Harza Engineering Company to fund and perform a detailed feasibility study and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for which it wrongly claims that it took a loan from the US Trade Development Agency (US TDA). In fact it was a grant.


The dissimulation continued with the assertion that the project had attracted equity investors and multi-lateral banks to finance the construction. Synergy is now looking for financing, even as Sithe describes itself as the project sponsor. What is true is that the company has been granted a licence to undertake the AFHEP although the particulars of that licence are not a matter of public information. Under the 2003 Jagdeo-Corbin agreement such matters are required to be tabled in the National Assembly.


Broken promises


On May 23, 2006, an MOU was signed between the developers and government and Guyana Power and Light Inc (GPL) for the development of the project. Here is a schedule of commitments and dates contained in Section 3 of the Schedule to the May 2006 MOU. Notice that Synergy has breached every one of its obligations under the MOU, most of which should have led to the immediate termination of licence, MOU and dealings.


Hydro by Christmas 2010


Emboldened by the brazen complicity of the government, Mr Motilall seems completely unmoved by his otherwise embarrassing incapacity to meet his obligations even within an unreasonable time. In fact, despite his failure his company’s website continues to tell the world that “the schedule that was agreed upon has the start of construction of AFHEP in August 2007 with commercial operation on the last quarter 2010. In the interim, Synergy and its partners agreed to supply a thermal power plant of 25 MW (to be operational in March 2007) as a way to meet GPL’s demand for power until the hydro-power plant can be built.


The hydro project will assimilate the thermal plant upon its commissioning and the 25 MW thermal power plant will most likely operate in a back-up capacity after 2010.” As my twelve year old would say, “Yeah, right.”


Next week we will look at the financial provisions of the several disparate documents and statements made on the project.


Nota del editor del blog:
Al referenciarse a la República Cooperativa de Guyana se deben de tener en cuenta los 159.500Km2, de territorios ubicados al oeste del río Esequibo conocidos con el nombre de Guayana Esequiba o Zona en Reclamación sujetos al Acuerdo de Ginebra del 17 de febrero de 1966.


Territorios estos sobre los cuales el gobierno Venezolano en representación de la Nación venezolana se reservo sus derechos sobre los territorios de la Guayana Esequiba en su nota del 26 de mayo de 1966 al reconocerse al nuevo Estado de Guyana .
“...por lo tanto, Venezuela reconoce como territorio del nuevo Estado, el que se sitúa al este de la margen derecha del río Esequibo y reitera ante la comunidad internacional, que se reserva expresamente sus derechos de soberanía territorial sobre la zona que se encuentra en la margen izquierda del precitado río; en consecuencia, el territorio de la Guayana Esequiba sobre el cual Venezuela se reserva expresamente sus derechos soberanos, limita al Este con el nuevo Estado de Guyana, a través de la línea del río Esequibo, tomando éste desde su nacimiento hasta su desembocadura en el Océano Atlántico...”

La Sithe Global ha contratado a expertos para la evaluación del impacto ambiental en el Proyecto Hidroeléctrico de Amaila





Tomado de:

Sithe Global is updating the previous EIA for the Amaila Falls project and has hired internationally recognized environmental advisors

Posted By Stabroek staff On May 23, 2010 @ 5:04 am In Letters
Dear Editor,
For decades the people of Guyana have longed to develop their own hydropower potential and in turn produce a less costly, more reliable supply of electricity. With more dependable, affordable electricity, everyday life will be easier and economic development bolstered.


The Amaila project consists of a hydropower dam, built at the junction of the Amaila and Kuribrong rivers, capable of generating 154MW. The electricity generated by specially-designed and purpose-built turbines would be delivered to substations in Linden and Georgetown by a new 278 km transmission line. The entire project will take about three and half years to build, and will be financed by private equity and public multilateral financing institutions. The total cost of the dam, powerhouse, transmission line, and substations, estimated at US$650 million (including an estimated $190 million for the transmission line and other supporting infrastructure), will be the largest private investment in Guyana’s history. Sithe Global has already spent in excess of $5 million on the development of this project and expects to ultimately contribute over $150 million of equity.


The Amaila Hydropower project can provide Guyana with a long-term, clean and sustainable source of electricity. It would largely free Guyana from imported oil for electricity generation and will lower carbon emissions and cut pollution. And for the people of Guyana – residences, businesses and industry – it would lower the prices they pay for electricity, while providing them with a reliable and dependable supply.


Hydropower dams are not small undertakings. It takes considerable capital resources, experience and technical expertise to construct and operate a successful hydroelectric project and transmission line. Sithe Global’s core management team has successfully led the development or acquisition of over 50 power plants comprising over 15,000 MWs globally. Since combining forces with the Blackstone group in 2005, Sithe Global has raised nearly US$3 billion in capital to finance three greenfield projects totalling 1,725 MWs , including the 250MW Bujagali hydroelectric project in Uganda, which will effectively double that country’s generation capacity.


Our environmental and social standards have been certified by our partners including multilateral lenders, such as the World Bank, African Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and other institutions well-known to have the world’s most exacting environmental, social and safety standards. We are also working to develop strong partnerships with local non-governmental organizations to ensure that the civil society of Guyana has the opportunity to help shape the project. Building a hydropower project requires care, experience and precision. Doing just the minimum isn’t enough here. That is why Sithe has chosen to update the previous Environmental Impact Assessment. We have hired internationally recognized environmental advisors who are completing their environmental and social baseline surveys next month.

We are committed to bringing the Amaila Hydropower project to successful completion and operation, despite the challenges posed by its remote location. For this reason, we welcome the Government of Guyana’s commitment to build a road to the site, the critical first step to developing Guyana’s energy independence. The cost of this road will be part of the government’s equity in the project. But once Amaila is built, the people of Guyana will have reliable, affordable electricity, and a critical resource to power their economy. Twenty years after its completion, Amaila will transfer from private ownership and become property of the Guyanese government, at no additional cost.


Sithe Global strives to be a leader in the world at implementing large scale, socially responsible power generation projects. Our successful experiences completing challenging projects in remote locations around the world are directly applicable to Amaila. We believe that developing energy projects with a major economic impact while mitigating the ecological footprint is the key to sustainable development.


Our goal is to start construction in early 2011, once the access road is completed and debt financing has been obtained. We will share information as the project progresses.


With our proven track record of building successful power generation projects, we know what it takes to deliver. What is at stake here is more than the Amaila project. It is the chance for Guyana to control its own energy future by having its own source of clean, reliable electricity, lowering its dependence on imported oil, and decreasing its carbon footprint. And it offers the Guyanese the opportunity to live with reliable electricity, as they build a better future.


Yours faithfully,
Rafael Herz
Project Manager
Amaila Falls Hydropower Project
Sithe Global


Nota del editor del blog: Al referenciarse a la República Cooperativa de Guyana se deben de tener en cuenta los 159.500Km2, de territorios ubicados al oeste del río Esequibo conocidos con el nombre de Guayana Esequiba o Zona en Reclamación sujetos al Acuerdo de Ginebra del 17 de febrero de 1966.


Territorios estos sobre los cuales el gobierno Venezolano en representación de la Nación venezolana se reservo sus derechos sobre los territorios de la Guayana Esequiba en su nota del 26 de mayo de 1966 al reconocerse al nuevo Estado de Guyana .
“...por lo tanto, Venezuela reconoce como territorio del nuevo Estado, el que se sitúa al este de la margen derecha del río Esequibo y reitera ante la comunidad internacional, que se reserva expresamente sus derechos de soberanía territorial sobre la zona que se encuentra en la margen izquierda del precitado río; en consecuencia, el territorio de la Guayana Esequiba sobre el cual Venezuela se reserva expresamente sus derechos soberanos, limita al Este con el nuevo Estado de Guyana, a través de la línea del río Esequibo, tomando éste desde su nacimiento hasta su desembocadura en el Océano Atlántico...”

La vía hacia Amaila (Guayana Esequiba) no es probable que se construya en 8 meses





Tomado de:
Road to Amaila unlikely to be built in 8 months
Posted By Stabroek staff On May 23, 2010 @ 5:15 am In Local News

Canadian consultants found Synergy lacked ‘capacity’, needed partner
Government’s eight-month deadline stipulated for the construction of the access roads to the Amaila Falls hydropower plant appears to be unrealistic based on the review of the project’s original feasibility study by Canadian consultants Kaehne Consulting Ltd, who also said that Synergy Holdings did not have the financial, technical capacity or experience to develop the project on its own and needed to partner with another corporate entity.


Synergy Holdings, the company controversially awarded the contract for the first phase of the project, is required to construct approximately 110 kilometres (km) of virgin roadway within eight months. However, in 2002 Kaehne Consulting Ltd had estimated that a road of 41 km in length needed to be constructed to facilitate the hydropower plant and that this would take 12 months. The administration, however, has now tasked Synergy Holdings with completing almost three times the original estimated length of road in ⅔ of the time originally set. Synergy Holdings Inc already faces questions about its road-building capacity.


During the eight-month time frame, Synergy is also required to upgrade approximately 85 km of existing roadway, and design and construct “two new pontoon crossings at the Essequibo and Kuribrong rivers.” The company is also required to clear a pathway alongside the roadways to allow for the installation of approximately 65 km of transmission lines. The Request for Proposals (RFP) for this phase of the Amaila Falls Hydroelectric project (AFHEP), states that construction would take place on a “time of the essence” basis and must be completed by the end of the eighth month following the Effective Date of the Agreement.


In 2002, when Kaehne Consulting Ltd conducted a due diligence review of a proposal from Synergy Holdings Inc and Harza International Development Company LLC of Chicago, Illinois, it was for a 100 MW generating plant at Amaila. This review was financed by a grant from the United Nations Development Programme In their review of accessing the site, the consultants said that “before construction can commence, a new road must be constructed from Pamela Landing to the site.” They estimated the distance of the road to be 41 kilometres. “This road must be sufficient load capacity and width to allow the transportation of the major earthmoving equipment required to develop the site and the installed equipment, the heaviest item of which will be the transformers at approximately 100 tonnes each.” It said too that “normal road weight limit is 18,000 lbs per axle and minimum road width is 22 feet.” One new bridge was required, the review said, and several culverts were needed to ensure adequate drainage.


“In addition to the proposed access road which is to be located along the top of the two dams, it is recommended that alternative road access to the powerhouse be provided via a new road along the bottom escarpment and a bridge across the Kuribrong River,” the consultants said. It was emphasised that the airstrip needed to meet statutory requirements and that the developers needed to obtain all relevant permits and approvals to construct and operate the facility.


“The developers have also advised that a permanent airstrip will be built at Amaila. This will be essential once construction begins for ferrying the supervisory and senior labour force to and from site and for carrying out medical emergency evacuations should that be necessary,” the report said.


The consultants also said that “the overall development process involving preconstruction activities and project construction is expected to require 4 to 5 years to complete.”


In relation to the funding of the project the report said that Synergy Holdings did not have the financial or technical capacity or experience to develop the project on its own and that it needed to partner with another corporate entity. “With due respect to Synergy, it is obvious that this corporate entity does not have the financial or technical capability or the project development experience to develop the Amaila project alone and this is not its intent,” it said. The report went on to say it was important for Synergy to finalize the new corporate entity.


Subsequently, Fip Motilall, the President of Synergy Holdings, advised the consultants that possible development partners included Leucadia National Corp, ABB and IFC. Harza would remain as owner’s engineers, the review report stated. However, Sithe Global LLC has now been identified as the financial backer for the project.


The Amaila Falls Hydroelectric Project (AFHEP) has been described as a development project that would significantly reduce the cost of electricity in the country while being more environmentally friendly. President Jagdeo, during a recent trip to Wakenaam, told residents that the plant when completed would result in the cost of electricity being one third of what is now being sold by the Guyana Power and Light (GPL), a release from GINA said. “It could reduce consumers’ bill, it would lead to industrialization because of cheaper reliable power and US$100 million that we spend every year to import fuel to generate electricity, the country will save that so it will have a big impact on our balance of payment and therefore, greater stability on our exchange rate and inflation rate,” GINA quoted the President as saying.


Motilall, in an invited response to a letter published in the April 8 edition of this newspaper, said that when the project was completed, “the cost of the power from Amaila to GPL is going to be less than 50% of what it costs to produce with fossil fuels.” He stated too that in 20 years the project would be turned over to Guyana without any cost attached, and from this point to the next 80 years, Guyanese would be able to enjoy a generation cost of ¼ of a cent per KWH.


However, experienced engineer Malcolm Alli, in a letter published in Friday’s edition of this newspaper, contended that suggestions that “the hydropower would cost pennies per kilowatt-hour is nothing more than a pipe dream.”


Estimating a US$600 million price tag for the project, Alli argued that based on a 25 year capital cost recovery, the developer for the project would have to pay back the lenders approximately US$71.2 million per year based on an 11% interest rate. Guyana is currently seeking funding for the plant from the Inter-American Development Bank and the China Development Bank.


Alli argued that added to this the country also had to take into account the developer’s profit, transmission and distribution costs, and costs for road and plant maintenance.


According to him, since the government would be purchasing the power produced for a period of 25 years, the cost to the government may be the same as the present rate per KWH or even more.


He noted too that the government will also have to allow for the Kingston power plant to be in an operational state at all times during and after the construction of the hydro-plant. According to him, at the end of the 25 years, the government would also have to refurbish the turbines and generators at the plant and this would be an extra cost to the government.


The developer for the AFHEP is Sithe Global Power LLC. This company is part of a consortium of sponsors currently building a 250 MW hydropower plant in Uganda which is proving to be one of the most expensive in the world, with a price tag so far of US$860 million.


Recent reports indicate that when completed the dam would not result in lower electricity tariffs for Ugandans in spite of promises from the project sponsors that it would.


Nota del editor del blog: Al referenciarse a la República Cooperativa de Guyana se deben de tener en cuenta los 159.500Km2, de territorios ubicados al oeste del río Esequibo conocidos con el nombre de Guayana Esequiba o Zona en Reclamación sujetos al Acuerdo de Ginebra del 17 de febrero de 1966.


Territorios estos sobre los cuales el gobierno Venezolano en representación de la Nación venezolana se reservo sus derechos sobre los territorios de la Guayana Esequiba en su nota del 26 de mayo de 1966 al reconocerse al nuevo Estado de Guyana .
“...por lo tanto, Venezuela reconoce como territorio del nuevo Estado, el que se sitúa al este de la margen derecha del río Esequibo y reitera ante la comunidad internacional, que se reserva expresamente sus derechos de soberanía territorial sobre la zona que se encuentra en la margen izquierda del precitado río; en consecuencia, el territorio de la Guayana Esequiba sobre el cual Venezuela se reserva expresamente sus derechos soberanos, limita al Este con el nuevo Estado de Guyana, a través de la línea del río Esequibo, tomando éste desde su nacimiento hasta su desembocadura en el Océano Atlántico...”

¿Tiene Guyana un plan para la integración con el Brasil?




Tomado de:




Does Guyana have a road map for integration with Brazil?
Posted By Stabroek staff On May 22, 2010 @ 5:02 am In Letters






Dear Editor,
The Guyana government is moving ahead towards integration with Brazil. At least this is the amazing claim, which has been made by GINA. Some secret deal is obviously taking place without consulting the people of Guyana about their future.


The Andrade Gutierrez representatives came to brief the President on the details. “It was an opportunity for President Jagdeo to meet these gentlemen so that they could explain the feasibility and the technical aspects of this important hydro-power project which Brazil believes is important, also in the effort of integration between Brazil and Guyana,” Fonseca was quoted by GINA as saying. (SN. May 20).


Clearly Brazil is making no secret of its ambitions in relation to Guyana. Integration is the basis on which their proposals on the hydro-power project at Kurupung is founded. Obviously the project is seen as another major leap in achieving Brazil’s ultimate goal. In close collaboration with RUSAL and Guyana’s politicians, Brazil’s great expansion into Guyana is on the move. The carrot that the Guyana government is dangling before the people is cheap electricity.


The government can hardly build a proper ferry terminal for the people let alone provide them with cheap electricity. A few years ago the new Pomeroon wharf was washed away leaving the old wooden one still standing. The Supenaam terminal was badly damaged recently. The people must continue to bear the burden and pay the heavy price for the failures of inept governments.


The Brazilians are sweeping across Guyana’s borders and destroying much of the country’s forest in their unstoppable search for gold. While Guyana is heading down the poverty spiral, the Brazilians and other outside interests are reaping rich and bountiful harvests from Guyana’s rich mineral deposits. Operating on the parallel economy, little income, if any, ends up in Guyana’s treasury to benefit the people, who must depend on foreign aid and subsidies for survival. Guyana’s poor miners could hardly compete with the Brazilians and their hi-tech dredges and mining equipment.

If the Guyana government has a road map for integration with Brazil, then what future are they offering to the citizens of the country? Politicians of all shades have always been screaming blue about how they have fought and won independence from Britain. What has happened to such fuming patriotism? Is Guyana about to cede sovereignty to Brazil and end up under the rule of another foreign power?
History may be yet again repeating itself. Any such integration would relegate Guyana to another forgotten, slum state of Brazil. With no window to the outside world, the rape of the Guyana’s mineral wealth would escalate unhindered.
Yours faithfully,Mac Mahase


Nota del editor del blog: Al referenciarse a la República Cooperativa de Guyana se deben de tener en cuenta los 159.500Km2, de territorios ubicados al oeste del río Esequibo conocidos con el nombre de Guayana Esequiba o Zona en Reclamación sujetos al Acuerdo de Ginebra del 17 de febrero de 1966.


Territorios estos sobre los cuales el gobierno Venezolano en representación de la Nación venezolana se reservo sus derechos sobre los territorios de la Guayana Esequiba en su nota del 26 de mayo de 1966 al reconocerse al nuevo Estado de Guyana .
“...por lo tanto, Venezuela reconoce como territorio del nuevo Estado, el que se sitúa al este de la margen derecha del río Esequibo y reitera ante la comunidad internacional, que se reserva expresamente sus derechos de soberanía territorial sobre la zona que se encuentra en la margen izquierda del precitado río; en consecuencia, el territorio de la Guayana Esequiba sobre el cual Venezuela se reserva expresamente sus derechos soberanos, limita al Este con el nuevo Estado de Guyana, a través de la línea del río Esequibo, tomando éste desde su nacimiento hasta su desembocadura en el Océano Atlántico...”

sábado, 22 de mayo de 2010

Ante cualquier acuerdo por el Proyecto hidroeléctrico de Kurupung, en el Mazaruni (Guayana Esequiba) el gobierno debe de beneficiar a la Rusal y Bra


Tomado de:


Any RUSAL hydro deal with Brazil firm has to be blessed by Gov’t – statement

Posted By Stabroek staff On May 21, 2010 @ 5:40 am In Local News.


No agreement has been reached by Russian aluminum giant, RUSAL and Brazilian construction firm, Andrade Gutierrez (AG) Construction on the possible joint development of a hydro electricity plant in the Upper Mazaruni but discussions are ongoing.


The Guyana Government in a statement said that it noted a report in the Stabroek News yesterday which was headlined, ‘RUSAL, Brazil company still talking about massive Kurupung hydro project’ adding that it wanted to clarify the status of discussions on the project.


The statement said that in September 2009, when the Takutu Bridge was officially commissioned by President Bharrat Jagdeo and Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Lula announced Brazil’s interest in establishing an 800 MW hydro project in Guyana. He signaled then that a high level team would be sent to Guyana to further discuss hydro, the statement said.


The statement recounted that on October 1 last year, Jagdeo, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and a government team met Brazilian Minister of Energy and Mines, Edison Lobao to further discuss Guyana’s hydro-electricity potential and how the two countries could work together to further the exploitation of that potential. Lobao led a 12-member delegation that included persons from Brazilian electricity company, Electrobras. “As part of the meeting, it was disclosed by the government of Guyana (GoG) to the Brazilians that the Turtruba Project was held by the ENMAN group, pursuant to a Memorandum of Under-standing (MOU) entered into on July 31, 2001 and executed by the Prime Minister, and suggested that Brazil look at alternative hydro sites”, the statement said.


It said that as part of its examination of alternatives, Brazil identified the Upper Mazaruni hydro project (the Kurupung project). Government disclosed that this site was covered under a letter of Intent (LOI) entered into in 2007 between the GoG and RUSAL. Under this LOI, RUSAL had started preliminary feasibility studies for the development of an integrated aluminum complex (including a refinery and smelter), the statement said. “Given the existence of this LOI, government indicated to Andrade Gutierrez (AG) that the two parties (RUSAL and AG) could pursue direct discussions on the possible joint development of this project”, it added.


“In 2010, RUSAL and AG engaged in direct discussions on the possible joint development of this hydro project. No agreement has yet been reached by the parties. The report in SN of today (yesterday), appears to present matters that are being discussed between RUSAL and AG”, the statement said.


It went on to say that providing that RUSAL and AG reach an agreement, this agreement will have to be presented to the GoG for its consideration and approval. “If approved by the GoG, development of this project would also require completion of all applicable feasibility studies including an environmental impact assessment (EIA)”, the statement said.


It said that subject to the applicable studies, should all the parties agree on the future development of this hydro project, power from this project will be earmarked for use by Brazilian northern states and Guyana (including power for an aluminum smelter).


This newspaper had reported yesterday that interest remains in developing a 3000 megawatt hydroelectricity plant in the Middle Mazaruni with talks about two consortiums involving RUSAL, the government of Guyana and Brazilian electricity company, Electrobras.


In a recent letter sent to Gianfranco Miceli – the Director of Business Development of Andrade Gutierrez Construction, by RUSAL General Manager Alexey Gordymov, it was stated that the Russian company is ready to further develop the project at Kurupung if certain terms are accepted. This hydro-power project had been floated many times in the past.


In the letter dated May 14, which was seen by this newspaper, Gordymov told Miceli that he hoped that their meeting in Miami in March this year was productive and at least the parties could exchange their intentions and recognise how they could move the project forward. He recalled that despite efforts they could not find any amicable solution at the time. He recalled that during the March meeting it was understood that one of the crucial points for Miceli was to get Electrobras to be part of a consortium. He mentioned the building of a smelter. After numerous internal reviews and discussions, they would like to continue dialogue on the main principles, Gordymov said.


He outlined six points. According to the letter, Consortium A would be created with three main stakeholders: Electrobras, the Government of Guyana and Rusal. “This consortium would be responsible for developing the Hydropower Plant and distribution of energy”, Gordymov wrote. He said the consortium would build a 3000MW hydropower plant which would be done in three phases. He said that the first 1000MW would be sold to Brazil “beside what is energy required by Guyana” and the second 1000MW “(probably less)” would go to the smelter. The third 1000MW would be sold to Brazil, he said. He outlined Consortium B – which would be created between the government of Guyana and RUSAL for the construction of an aluminum smelter. “RUSAL would control the consortium”.


According to the letter, Consortium B has a right to declare an option to use energy in the second phase of up to 1000MW “in case smelting capacity will be built before commissioning 2nd phase”. Such an option has to be declared no later than six months after the commissioning of the first phase, Gordymov outlined. He said that if this option is not declared by Consortium B within that time then Consortium A has a right to use the energy of the second phase at its own discretion. In this case, the third phase will be developed by Consortium A when Consortium B decides that the smelter is needed, according to Gordymov.


He said that the Consortiums will enter into a written agreement where Consortium A will guarantee to supply power to Consortium B in the requested amount for smelting but no more than 1000MW at a cost basis price. “We will appreciate your feedback on this message and would like to point (out) that we are ready to develop further this project in case you accept (the) above main terms”, Gordymov wrote. He added that any final deal is subject to contract.


Nota del editor del blog: Al referenciarse a la República Cooperativa de Guyana se deben de tener en cuenta los 159.500Km2, de territorios ubicados al oeste del río Esequibo conocidos con el nombre de Guayana Esequiba o Zona en Reclamación sujetos al Acuerdo de Ginebra del 17 de febrero de 1966.


Territorios estos sobre los cuales el gobierno Venezolano en representación de la Nación venezolana se reservo sus derechos sobre los territorios de la Guayana Esequiba en su nota del 26 de mayo de 1966 al reconocerse al nuevo Estado de Guyana .
“...por lo tanto, Venezuela reconoce como territorio del nuevo Estado, el que se sitúa al este de la margen derecha del río Esequibo y reitera ante la comunidad internacional, que se reserva expresamente sus derechos de soberanía territorial sobre la zona que se encuentra en la margen izquierda del precitado río; en consecuencia, el territorio de la Guayana Esequiba sobre el cual Venezuela se reserva expresamente sus derechos soberanos, limita al Este con el nuevo Estado de Guyana, a través de la línea del río Esequibo, tomando éste desde su nacimiento hasta su desembocadura en el Océano Atlántico...”

Guyana envía cargamento de Arroz a Venezuela por 1,9 millones de dólares de USA




Guyana loads US$1.9m paddy for Venezuela
Tomado de:


Guyana loads US$1.9m paddy for Venezuela
Posted By Stabroek staff On May 21, 2010 @ 5:48 am In Local News
With the second shipment of paddy on its way to Venezuela under a US$21.7 million deal, Guyana is expected to earn an additional US$90 for every tonne from here on.


Minister of Agriculture Robert Persaud and other officials oversaw the loading of the second shipment yesterday. MV Levante, which was expected to leave last night, is transporting approximately 4,400 tonnes of paddy worth about US$1.9 million. Guyana will also be earning an additional US$140 per tonne whenever rice is shipped


The multi–million-dollar rice purchase contract for the supply of 40,000 tonnes paddy and 10,000 tonnes rice was inked on October 21 last year. The contract, when it was first signed was worth US$18.8 million. It was expected to bring in prices of US$330 and US$560 for a tonne of paddy and rice, respectively. These prices were higher than export prices at the time.


The deal was signed in the presence of Persaud, Head of the Corporation of Supplies and Services (CASA) of Venezuela, Colonel Rudolpho Marco Torres, Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) General Manager Jagnarine Singh and other officials of the GRDB. The first shipment of approximately 5,000 tonnes paddy set sail for Venezuela late last December, weeks after it was supposed to leave. Exports were expected to be completed during early February.


However, late February Singh announced that the contract was being revised owing to issues encountered during the first shipment. Shortly after, it was revealed that there was a rise in the value of the contract from US$18.8 million to US$21.7 million.


Persaud, in recent correspondence with Stabroek News, explained that the paddy and rice prices were increased in the revised contract owing to the increase in prices internationally and the increased cost of shipping. Venezuela, for the remaining paddy and rice (35,000 tonnes and 10,000 tonnes, respectively) to be shipped under the deal, will pay US$420 and US$700 per tonne, respectively.


“This effort by the government to assist the millers in their quest for new and more lucrative markets,” the Agriculture Minister wrote, “is in keeping with government policies to ensure the sustainability of rice production.”


Persaud further wrote: “This is an area that was in the hand of the private sector and we would have seen that it was the ‘bottle-neck’ in the rice production and marketing process.


With only a few buyers for rice to the EU and Caricom markets we would have seen a constant decrease in the price for rice.”


The Venezuelan market, according to Persaud, has helped “to stimulate the upward trend” for the purchase of paddy from farmers. Meanwhile, to ensure that farmers benefit from the increased price being paid by Venezuela, millers have been asked to pay accordingly for paddy.


More than 10,000 acres of rice have been damaged by paddy bugs. However, rice officials have since stated that the paddy bug scourge is under control and did not have a significant impact on the industry’s yield for the first crop this year.


“We will have enough rice to supply our markets,” a rice official assured this newspaper late yesterday afternoon. “And we will definitely have enough to keep supplying Venezuela under the deal.”

Nota del editor del blog: Al referenciarse a la República Cooperativa de Guyana se deben de tener en cuenta los 159.500Km2, de territorios ubicados al oeste del río Esequibo conocidos con el nombre de Guayana Esequiba o Zona en Reclamación sujetos al Acuerdo de Ginebra del 17 de febrero de 1966.


Territorios estos sobre los cuales el gobierno Venezolano en representación de la Nación venezolana se reservo sus derechos sobre los territorios de la Guayana Esequiba en su nota del 26 de mayo de 1966 al reconocerse al nuevo Estado de Guyana .
“...por lo tanto, Venezuela reconoce como territorio del nuevo Estado, el que se sitúa al este de la margen derecha del río Esequibo y reitera ante la comunidad internacional, que se reserva expresamente sus derechos de soberanía territorial sobre la zona que se encuentra en la margen izquierda del precitado río; en consecuencia, el territorio de la Guayana Esequiba sobre el cual Venezuela se reserva expresamente sus derechos soberanos, limita al Este con el nuevo Estado de Guyana, a través de la línea del río Esequibo, tomando éste desde su nacimiento hasta su desembocadura en el Océano Atlántico...”