Lethem residents and those of surrounding communities are set to have a sustainable power supply with the rehabilitation of the Moco Moco hydropower project. This was announced today, by Cabinet Secretary and Minister of State, Joseph Harmon during his post -Cabinet media briefing.
The Minister said that design work has already started with a view to have actual works commence before the end of 2016. International funding of approximately $200 million has been sourced for the project, the Minister revealed.
Minister Harmon assured Region 9 residents of a “higher quality and reliability of electricity, and that the industrial development of these communities can be undertaken in a more ordered and structured way”.
He hopes that incentives given will spur “a different type of development and encourage more Guyanese to migrate to some of these areas”.
Meanwhile with regard the Kato hydropower project, in Region 8, he pointed out that this will result in communities as far as Paramakatoi receiving electricity, “This project will cater for the installation of an electricity facility, as well as transmission lines” for the rapidly developing community of Kato and surrounding areas.
A small hydropower project was developed at Moco-Moco with assistance from the Government of China in 1995. This provided electrical power for Lethem, which was then still dependent on fuel (and everything else) being flown in from Georgetown, or coming by road from Venezuela and Brazil.
The operation of the hydro plant began in 1999. However, the operation was disrupted by a landslide in 2003, and has since been out of commission. Residents had long called for the power plant to be repaired since they were forced to pay increased electricity costs, after fossil fuel powered generators were used as alternative power sources.