Since the recent announcement of the US$15 million contract to the US-based company, several letters have appeared in the local newspapers questioning the company’s experience in road building and whether it has the capacity to undertake such a major assignment. Questions have also been raised about the legitimacy of the company and whether the necessary environmental assessments were conducted.
In an invited response to the local media, Motilall said that there was much “misinformation” in the press by letter writers regarding the Amaila Falls Hydroelectric Power Project (AFHEP) and his company. Noting that he still plans to issue a detailed press release to respond to all unsubstantiated claims, Motilall said he is currently assembling the team and the necessary equipment so that work on the access roads could commence. According to him, the engineers on this project are MWH, which is formerly the Harza Engineering Group. He noted that this group has designed over 70% of all the hydro dams in the world.
Motilall said the project is no longer a 100 MW but that it has been upgraded to the 154 MV, hence the higher cost price. According to him, the entire project will take 48 months. He noted that after the completion of the access road, which is expected tot take eight months, the rest of the project is expected to take 40 months. He stated that after the project is 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.” According to him, in 20 years this project gets turned over to Guyana without any cost attached. He said that from this point to the next 80 years, Guyanese will be able to enjoy a generation cost of ¼ of a cent per KWH.
Underscoring the commitment of his firm to the project, Motiall said that Synergy Holdings Inc had spent over US$1 million of the more than US$4 million spent on the developmental costs of the project. He said that his company was involved in site drilling, surveying, designing, bid specifications and evaluation exercises as it related to the AFHEP.
Further, Motilall said that the project is its final stages of “financial closure with the IDB and other multilaterals” and explained that confidentiality is the norm with these deals. He stressed that the project is a “private development,” which he stress means that the government does not spend US$500-600 million but rather Synergy Holdings, its partners and lenders.
Meanwhile, addressing concerns about Synergy Holdings Inc., Motilall said that his company has done several real estate developments in the USA, which total in excess of US$50 million in the last 8 years. The company President explained he had moved his company’s registration from Minnesota to Florida so that it could be closer to Guyana to facilitate development works with the AFHEP.
He further explained that Synergy Holdings was not replaced by Synergy Energy Solutions, as some letter writers were suggesting. He said that the latter establishment was a firm set up in 2008 to do solar and wind projects in the USA based on the increased awareness of green energy.
The involvement of Synergy Holdings Inc. with the project dates back to 1997 when it partnered with Kleinschmidt & Associates (hydro-engineering firm) to conceptualize a revised design for the project. This project is based on an initial study that was carried out between 1974 and 1976 by Montreal Engineering to explore the hydroelectric potential in the country under a grant from the United Nations. A number of sites were identified and these were further refined to three “most promising” sites. Further studies by Synergy Holdings Inc, related to the demand for power, the economics, environmental, ecological and political impacts of developing each of these sites, led to Amaila being selected.
The hydroelectric plant being built on the Kuribrong River, a tributary of the Potaro River in Region Seven (Cuyuni/ Mazaruni).It has become even more pivotal now with the government promoting its Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).