Ahead of Guyana’s official start date for oil production in 2020, local companies that utilise vast amounts of energy to facilitate operations are actively being encouraged to pursue energy sources that burn at a cleaner rate and have less impact on the environment.
It is against these considerations that the Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) partnered with Trinidadian-based company ICON LNG to provide the beverage giant with natural gas supply on a pilot programme for six months.
ICON specialises in providing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as an alternative to replace diesel, gasoline and heavy oil fuel. The company highlighted that the gas is lighter and safer to transport than propane gas.
At the launch at Cara Lodge Hotel on Wednesday, DDL Chairman Komal Samaroo announced that the project’s technical feasibility has already been proven and noted that for the next few months, DDL will conduct financial and economic evaluation of the programme which will assess its viability.
Samaroo stressed that with power taking up the second highest cost, the company saw it fit to select natural gas “to tackle” the cost that power rakes up as DDL operates on a 24-hour basis.
“DDL believes in the future of natural gas as a form of reliable energy which will help pilot Guyana’s prosperity… our country is poised for greater economic buoyancy with the oil sector,” the DDL Chairman noted.
“Given Guyana’s quest for clean energy, this project resonates very well with national policy,” he added.
While ICON and DDL officials were reluctant to go into financial arrangements, this publication was told that DDL is currently running on 15 per cent natural gas capacity for a few hours a day.
It was pointed out that once ICON’s power is switched off; DDL reverts to using diesel for much of its capacity. During the launch, the company’s Chairman had however reminded that DDL produces steam through its methane gas plant.
ICON President and Chief Financial Officer, John Thompson said the pilot programme with DDL is still in the initial stages. The gas will be obtained from Trinidad and in the next six months, six 20-foot containers will be shipped and it will last for 90 days.
Thompson told stakeholders that the company has been around for three years and is active in regional markets such as St Lucia and Barbados. The ICON President added that natural gas is a “safe, natural fuel” which emits 30-40 per cent less Carbon Dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere.
Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Energy Agency, in brief remarks, told the gathering that he has been encouraging the Guyana Power and Light to seek alternative forms of energy.
This publication was told that the National Milling Company of Guyana and the Beharry Group have expressed interest in utilising natural gas as an alternative means of energy use. (Shemuel Fanfair)