GEORGETOWN, Guyana (GINA) -- The engineering procurement and construction agreement (EPC) for the construction of the Amaila Falls Hydro project and transmission line was signed on Tuesday in Xian, China, by Sithe Global and China Railway First Group (CRFG).
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Guyana’s Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh described the occasion as a historic moment for Guyana and for Guyana-China relations, alluding to the strong historic relations between the two countries and the increasing role that Chinese enterprises are playing in the development of Guyana.
Singh stated that the Amaila Falls project presented an opportunity for these relations to enter a new phase as the project represented the single largest investment in Guyana and, one of the largest Chinese investments in the Caribbean.
“This transformational project is the single largest investment in Guyana and will allow Guyana in one single step to move from being almost entirely dependent on costly fossil fuels to being supplied almost entirely by renewable energy. We are delighted to have such credible partners recognize the importance of the project and be ready to invest private capital in Guyana,” Singh said.
CEO of Sithe Global, Bruce Wrobel, stated, “We are pleased to be associated with this project, long in the making, that will make a huge difference to the people of Guyana and is representative of the globalised world that we inhabit, a project with many important players, such as the CRFG, CDB, IDB, the government of Norway, and the government of Guyana.”
The EPC contract, valued US$506 million, is the largest infrastructure contract ever executed in Guyana. The signing signals an important milestone in the development of the US$840 million Amaila Falls Hydro project, which is expected to start by mid 2013.
Singh concluded his remarks stating, “I am delighted to represent Guyana at this historic milestone and I urge all partners to recommit their efforts to seeing the timely realisation of financial close and implementation of this project all the way to its coming into operation.”
CRFG was founded in 1950 and is a state-owned entity, with over US$9 billion in annual revenue. It is part of China Railway Engineering Group, a company with over US$90 billion in revenue and the third largest construction company in China and, one of the top 100 construction companies in the world. CRFG is headquartered in Xian, China.
Sithe Global is a fully owned subsidiary of the Blackstone Group, one of the largest private equity funds in the world with over US$120 billion under management.
China Development Bank is one of the largest commercial banks in China with assets in excess of US$900 billion. The project is being led by the Shaanxi branch of the CDB, in Xian.
IDB is one of Guyana’s oldest development partners in the energy sector and an institution with over US$171 billion in capital.