GUYANA: President Ali; VP Jagdeo discuss Berbice deepwater port with CGX; investors

President Irfaan Ali (right) and Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo.

 Mar 19, 2021 – Kaieteur News – The construction of a deep-water harbour in Berbice is currently engaging the attention of Head of State, President, Irfaan Ali, Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo, and Canadian oil company, CGX Guyana, along with investors.

This is according to Minister within the Ministry of Public Works with responsibility for the Energy Sector, Deodat Indar, in a live broadcast interview on Monday, facilitated by Globespan24X7. 

“The deep-water harbour…” according to Indar, is supposed to go to Berbice because the draft [is] there, the land is there, it can serve two markets – Guyana market and the Suriname market.”

He was at the time discussing infrastructure projects in Guyana in light of its emerging oil and gas sector and told moderators, Dr. Asquith Rose and Charles Sugrim, “there are persons, there are operators who have land in the Crab Island area and so that have serious discussion at the level of the President and Vice-President concerning that project.”

The government Minister qualified his position further by reminding that “we don’t have the deep-water harbour, (and) most of the services are emanating out of Trinidad and all the tail end services for the oil and gas sector are done in Trinidad.

He lamented too, that because of the size of the ships that are required to move to and from Guyana, “cargo ships as well as ones in the oil and gas sector, the draft that we have in the Demerara cannot accommodate those ships so it is needed for our country’s transformation and development and we all in the Irfaan Ali government understand that.”

Government in its most recent pronouncements had also noted that considerations are being made as to the possibilities of a Public/Private Partnership or will be a “BOOT arrangement.”

BOOT arrangements refer to a build–own–operate–transfer type agreement. This is where a private entity receives a concession to design, fund and construct a facility and operate it. When the private party recovers their investment and returns, the facility can then be transferred to the government.

 CGX Energy Inc. had announced that it will be forging ahead with plans to construct a deep water port on the eastern bank of the Berbice River to meet the demands of the oil and gas operations in both Guyana and Suriname.

CGX Energy Inc. through its wholly owned subsidiary Grand Canal Industrial Estates Inc. (GCIEI) has already made a request for proposals for the provision of infrastructure services as part of the construction of a deep-water port facility at Crab Island in the Berbice River in the South American country of Guyana.

Eligible and qualified contractors had been invited to bid for the construction of a wharf platform and approach trestle; for the resurfacing of road and access way to the port site; and for the construction of two bridges. The facility when completed is expected to support the offshore exploration work of CGX and its partners in the Corentyne Block offshore Guyana.

The CGX deep-water harbour is proposed to be about 600 meters at the mouth of the Berbice River. According to the Guyana Office for Investment’s (GO-Invest) website, it is estimated that the port will be some 10 kilometers from the open Atlantic Ocean, making it easier to facilitate international trade.

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