Agreement sign of progress for Guyana's 165-MW Amaila Falls hydropower project

An agreement signed earlier this week by representatives from Sithe Global and the China Railway First Group (CRFG) should bode well for the development of Guyana's 165-MW Amaila Falls hydroelectric complex.

HydroWorld.com reported in December that construction of the Amaila Falls project had been slowed by the completion of an 85-km-long access road.

However, the engineering procurement and construction agreement (EPC) signed by Sithe and CRFG indicates that work on the US$840 million project could begin by mid-2013.

The contract -- worth $506 million -- was signed by Sithe Chief Executive Officer Bruce Wrobel and CRFG Chairman Sun Yonggan. Guyana's state news agency, GINA, says it represents the single largest infrastructure contract in the country's history.

"We are delighted to have such credible partners who recognize the importance of the project and are ready to invest private capital in Guyana," says Guyana Finance Minsiter Ashni Singh. "This transformational project will allow Guyana in one single step to move from being almost entirely dependent on fossil fuels to being supplied almost entirely by renewable energy."

Sithe-led Amaila Falls Hydro will operate both the plant and a 270-km, 230-kV transmission line under a 20-year build-own-operate-transfer contract once it is complete.

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