Guyana President Irfaan Ali says natural gas and fossil fuels are not out of the conversation just yet and while his country will do its part with regard to reducing emissions and has already embarked on projects to do so, there is still a role for hydrocarbons at this time.
“I see the energy transition as a mix between the fossil fuel industry that still has a foreseeable life and natural gas, of course, but Guyana, for example, we have already been moving to solar, we are moving to examination of wind, hydro. A new hydro electric plant that will be 165 megawatts,” President Ali told reporters at the Energy Conference the Hyatt Regency in Port-of-Spain yesterday.
“Yes the transition has to take place, but transition debate must not take place outside of the continued need for fossil fuel and natural gas and that is the balance we have to bring. Ensuring that in this entire transition and greening debate, the need for fossil and natural gas is not taken out of the equation.”
During his address at the conference, the Guyana President also highlighted the increased difficulty oil and gas companies had been facing to get financing for future projects.
“It is reality, oil and gas companies, they are having a greater challenge these days raising capital and we had a recent example in Guyana, where a loan to an oil and gas company operating in Guyana through the IDB was vetoed and that loan was not approved because the US vetoed that loan. We have real examples,” he said.
“If you look at the global trends and the narrative, you would see that there is less willingness to, or less appetite to that, is promoted to a large extent for lending in the oil and gas sector and even where there is lending, the cost of capital is very much different as it was a decade ago or less.”
Despite these challenges, Ali said he was eager to push on and indeed partner with any government willing to do business with his country.
“We have been toying with a number of options. We have gone out publicly to the bid round but there is also that room that we are looking for more government-to- government collaboration,” Ali said.
“There is a number of docks that are still available and we are having conversations with various governments to see the appetite for government-to-government. It involves any government that has an interest. India has expressed, I would say recently, they have expressed an interest in the oil and gas sector, not just the lift but the entire ecosystem surrounding oil and gas.”
The Guyana President also said he was keen on seeing T&T’s ability to explore and maximise its oil and gas resources, as he urged greater collaboration between CARICOM nations in the sector.