EPA green-lights construction of US$600M shore base at Vreed-en-Hoop

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Monday granted an environmental permit to NRG Holdings Inc, paving the way for the commencement a multimillion US dollars shore base and terminal at Foreshore Plantation Best on the West Bank of Demerara (WBD), Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara).

The US$600 million investment will be done by a 100 per cent Guyanese-owned consortium comprising National Hardware Limited, Hadi’s World Inc and ZRN Investments Incorporated.

Some of the features of the facility will include an offshore terminal; dry dock facility; a fabrication yard; offshore components; umbilical preparation and spooling yard; administrative buildings to house offices and modernised logistics centres; warehousing; area for a helipad; a wharf, berths, and a dry dock.

The port facility is expected to generate massive employment and revenue opportunities for Guyanese. Located at Vreed-en-Hoop, Region Three, it will occupy some 400 hectares of coastal land.

When it comes to employment, approximately 150 to 200 persons will be employed during construction and 50 to 100 persons will be employed for the basic operation and maintenance of the base port facilities.

Phase one of the project will see the deepening, widening and dredging of the access channel, as well as land reclamation. It also includes an offshore terminal, dry dock facility and fabrication yard spanning 65 hectares. Meanwhile, phase two involves deepening the dredging of the access canal and expanded reclamation.

According to the investors, the facility will also see services previously provided out of Trinidad now being carried out in Guyana, with the local economy benefitting from employment, duties and taxes, ancillary goods and services and capacity-building.

Nicholas Deygoo-Boyer, one of the partners within the consortium stated that the project will not service the oil and gas industry only but will also cater to all sectors that require a port facility. “We aim for this project to be transformative, not only for the oil and gas sector, but also for the ordinary person on the street as we seek to reduce shipping costs with this new container terminal.”

Nicholas Boyer

Meanwhile, Azruddin Mohamed of Hadi’s World Incorporated – another partner in the consortium – expressed appreciation that the Government is creating an enabling business environment, allowing for the project to create employment for thousands of Guyanese.

With the issuance of the environmental permit, NRG Holdings Inc will now have to submit an Environmental and Social Management Plan to the EPA within four months.

Azruddin Mohamed of Hadi’s World Incorporated

The plan will outline the mitigation measures for any impact that the project will have within the proposed area and surrounding communities.

The permit also guides the hours of construction as well as the authorisation protocol for use of the land.

Secretary of the consortium, Andron Alphonso noted, “NRG Holdings Inc is committed to pursuing this development in a manner that is beneficial to all stakeholders. We want to ensure that as we contribute to local content development and provide opportunities for Guyanese in the oil and gas sector, we also do so in a way that is also responsible and sustainable. At the end of it, it must be wholly beneficial not just to us as the investors but to the citizens in the surrounding communities and other stakeholders as well.”

Secretary of the consortium, Andron Alphonso

The project is a direct result of opportunities that are arising from the development of the oil and gas sector and its demands. It takes into account the untapped opportunities in terms of services that are required by the sector, but are being provided outside of Guyana’s territory, leading to revenue leaks for the country. (Guyana Times)