Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva yesterday pledged to help Guyana build an 800MW hydro-power plant in the Middle Mazaruni, identified as a priority by President Bharrat Jagdeo.
His announcement came at the historic formal opening of the border Takutu Bridge which President Jagdeo said opens new vistas for the two neighbours and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
Lula and Mr. Jagdeo were chief guests at the ceremony witnessed also by members of Brazil’s Congress, the Governor of Roraima State, which borders Guyana, and other top officials from both countries.
President Jagdeo warmly praised Lula for taking time off to be at the ceremony and for his support for including Guyana and Suriname more in the integration of South American countries.
Guyana sees the bridge as the gateway for the Caribbean Community to South America and Lula announced that Brazil will host the first Brazil-CARICOM summit next year, noting that a strong Caribbean presence is needed in South American integration.
Also on the cards with the new bridge link are a quality highway from Linden to Lethem and a deep water harbour on the Berbice River, which will offer Brazil a cheaper and faster route through the Atlantic Ocean for exports from its northern regions, including Roraima.
In tandem with the new bridge, Guyana and Brazil have been discussing plans for the hydro-power project in the Middle Mazaruni with support from the Brazilian government.
President Jagdeo recently met Charge d’ Affaires of the Brazilian embassy here, Minister Rodrigo Fonseca, and two representatives of Andrade Gutierrez Construction, Gianfranco Miceli, Commercial Director, and Pablo Arruda, Business Director, to discuss the possibility of establishing the hydro-power station.
Lula yesterday said Brazil is ready to have Brazilian firms finance construction of hydro-power plants here and announced that a Brazilian Minister will be in Guyana on October 3 or 4 for further discussions.