Despite the best efforts to stymie by opposition elements construction work on the Amaila Hydroelectric Project access road will begin this week. This follows the issuance of the construction notice to proceed by the Ministry of Public Works to Synergy Holdings on October 5th.
The notice follows the recent approval given by the Social Management Plan (ESMP) in the context of the IDB’s policies.Synergy is fully mobilised at the project site along with the supervisory consultants. Works will begin immediately on the section of new and upgraded road areas between Mabura Hills Road to the (EPA) and the positive review by the (IDB) of key environmental and social aspects of the road works and the contractor’s Environmental & Essequibo River and from Butakari to just west of the Kaburi Amerindian community in Region Eight. Concurrently with access road construction, the IDB is completing its review of the revised Environmental & Report (ESIA) which includes the Amaila hydropower facilities, the transmission line as well as the access road works. The ESIA was prepared by Exponent & JGP, a consortium of American and Brazilian environmental and social experts on hydroelectric project development hired by Amaila Falls Hydro Inc. (AFHI). The construction of the access road is the first phase of the Amaila hydro-electricity project, which is the biggest infrastructure project in Guyana’s history, and the flagship of Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).
The project will involve utilizing less than 0.001% of the State forest area, and the Government of Guyana has put in place measures to ensure that the project complies with both national and international social and environmental safeguards.Earlier this year acting Chief Justice Ian Chang, S.C., declined to issue orders of Certiorari and Prohibition to Management Consultant Ramon Gaskin. Gaskin had set out to prevent Government from awarding a $15M (US) contract to Synergy Holdings Inc., to design and build roads and stream/river crossings for Amailia Falls Hydro Project. The application was refused. The legal team representing the applicant included Mr Rex Mc Kay, S.C., Mr Fitz L.R. Peters, Mr Neil Boston and Mr Christopher Ram. The move to the court was widely believed to be orchestrated by Christopher Ram.
In giving his ruling the acting Chief Justice concluded that :"The court is unable to persuade itself that the issue of writs of Certiorari and prohibition would be for the public good in light of the importance of the Hydro electric project to public welfare and development of the country. The execution of the project by Synergy Holdings Inc., may warrant close monitoring but the need for such monitoring does not provide a sufficient basis for the exercise of the court's discretion to issue the Orders or Rules nisi of Certiorari and Prohibition as prayed."