PPP/C to challenge wind farm deal with Govt financier

first_imgThe People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) says it intends to vigorously challenge – in the courts if needs be – the ‘corrupt’ wind farm deal entered into between the current coalition Administration and one of its financiers, Lloyd Singh.Opposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoAPNU/AFC financier, Lloyd SinghThis position was adumbrated on Thursday by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, who was at the time addressing media operatives at the Party’s Freedom House Headquarters.“If they persist with it then we will have no choice but to review it,” Jagdeo said, even as he called on the international community, specifically the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to not fall prey to the machinations of the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government.Speaking to the IDB’s involvement, Jagdeo spoke to the fact that the international financial institution has funded an Energy Matrix Study for Guyana.This study, he said, was handed over to Government since June of this year but Government is still to make a pronouncement on this report.The former President drew reference to the fact that Finance Minister Winston Jordan had announced the negotiations of a Power Purchase Agreement between Government, through the Guyana Power and Light Company (GPL) and the principals for the proposed 25 Mega Watts, Wind Farm.Jagdeo said, international consultants usually just ‘baptise’ projects put forward by governments and he was hoping that this was not the case with the proposed US$50 million Hope Beach Wind Farm.He posited that the Energy Mix Study “may just baptise this, what is already in the system.”According to Jagdeo, there was never a public tender or any sort of competitive process with respect to the pursuit of a wind farm as part of Government’s renewable energy drive.On the matter of the Hope Beach Wind Farm principal, Jagdeo said Lloyd Singh is a known financier of the AFC.“Imagine a man who built the AFC headquarters is now negotiating with General Secretary of the AFC [Minister David Patterson] for or a Power Purchase Agreement that was never tendered and announced long before the power mix study…This smacks of corruption.”As such, the former President said even if Government were to go ahead with the project, the “PPP is not bound to respect anything that is done in this manner.”He said his party will vigorously oppose any Power Purchase Agreement negotiated in secret by related parties.This agreement, he said, will not necessarily be respected by the PPP.The US$50 million wind farm project is being touted by Government as its solution to GPL blackout woes, but Jagdeo has since questions what obtains if the wind speed for any given day were to drop below what is required and as a result generation reduces to nil.“What will be the back-up power that will kick in,” Jagdeo questioned, even as he sought to explain that with a wind farm, what is being purchased is energy and not necessarily capacity.Jagdeo – the main proponent behind the development of the Amaila Falls Hydro Electric Project – said hydro offers both capacity and energy, “this seems to escape them, so we gonna be spending tons of money. This is a corrupt transaction.”Jagdeo also used the opportunity to take to task Finance Minister Winston Jordan, who according to the Opposition Leader, misled the National Assembly when he announced the development of and negotiations surrounding the wind farm at Hope Beach.He drew reference to the Finance Minister’s presentation to the House where he alluded to the power being purchased from the Wind Farm Project at 12 cents per kilowatt hour versus the 28 cents per kilowatt hour (kwh) that it was costing GPL to generate electricity.According to Jagdeo, the generating cost for GPL at the time was 11cents per kwh, “he was wrong.”The former President said members of the Administration have since privately conceded that the Finance Minister was wrong.Jagdeo suggested that the Finance Minister deliberately used the inflated cost of electricity generation in order to justify the feasibility of the wind farm.He used the occasion to also lament the fact that there have been no investment decisions made about installing new capacity adding that, “they have effectively killed the hydro power and they are now in a mad scramble to resurrect the wind farm.”The matter of the wind farm, according to Jagdeo, will be raised with the Norwegian Government which itself is currently conducted another study on the feasibility of the Amaila Falls Hydro Electric project.Jagdeo was adamant that Government’s proposed solution in the form of a wind farm will not bring an end to the spate of blackouts and other woes as he maintained that “this thing is a corrupt deal and we will scrutinise this… will press them hard to get the details of this contract.”According to Jagdeo, “we have to look at it, if we find that it is particularly egregious then we will challenge it as we have done in the courts and use every means that is available to us to expose it.”last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *