Saturday, March 27, 2010
Amalia Falls Hydro Project closer to becoming a reality with the awarding of contract to build access roads.
U.S. company Synergy Holdings has been awarded a US$15 million project to build roads and bridges necessary for the start-up of the Amalia Falls Hydro project, Head of the Privatisation Unit, Winston Brassington, confirmed last evening.
President Bharrat Jagdeo announced the award of the contract at his office yesterday, noting that efforts are being made to conclude the financial arrangements for the Hydro project.
The Inter-American Development Bank and the China Development Bank have agreed to finance the US$450 million project.
Jagdeo said that the financing from the IDB and the China Development is not a loan to the government but to the project. However, because of the importance of the project, the government is engaged in the arrangements to finalise the financing.
Synergy Holdings contract is for the upgrade of approximately 85 kilometers of existing roadway and the design and construction of approximately 110 kilometers of new road. The works also include building bridges across the Essequibo and Kuribrong rivers, Jagdeo said.
In addition, the contract takes into account clearing the way for the installation of a 65-kilometre transmission line.
The Amalia Falls hydro-project is expected to supply 150-megawatts of electricity to the country and this will significantly free up resources used to buy fuel to generate electricity.
Guyana’s annual fuel import bill is US$350M. Five bids were received from interested parties to construct the hydropower plant in November 2008, and these bids were forwarded to the project developers and the equity partner, Sithe Global Power.
Sithe Global Power, LLC, based in New York, is an international development company involved in the construction, acquisition and operation of electric power generation facilities.
The Amalia Falls Hydropower Project is just part of a larger effort to revolutionise Guyana’s power generation infrastructure.
Also ongoing is a US$39.6M project to upgrade the transmission and distribution (T&D) system, establishing a continuous network from Skeldon, Berbice to Parika, Essequibo, including the East and West Bank Demerara networks.
It will also see the construction of a state-of-the-art control centre at Sophia and will be capable of connecting to the Amalia Falls project once it is completed.
The Amalia storage dam site would be located near the top of Amalia Falls and would impound the waters of both the Kuribrong and Amalia Rivers.
The Amalia site is located on the Kuribrong River, a tributary of the Potaro River in west central Guyana (see map). The nearest point of access is the airstrip at Kaieteur Falls on the Potaro River, approximately 15 miles to the south.
An overland trail exists from Kaieteur to Amalia. Access is also provided over land by an all-weather road through Tumatumari on the Potaro River and on to Mahdia and Kangaruma.
River access along the Potaro-Kuribrong Rivers to the foot of Amalia Falls involves several portages around rapids and waterfalls. The road from Tumatumari was recently extended to Mahdia/Kangaruma that brings you closer to the site but approximately 30 miles of additional roads will need to be built to the top of Amalia Falls.