GMSA to construct $250M complex in Ogle as part of ambitious manufacturing plans

GMSA President Ramsay Ali

With cheaper electricity on the horizon via the transformative renewable energy projects on the way, the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) has plans to build a manufacturing complex in Ogle, East Coast Demerara (ECD).

On Tuesday, the GMSA held its 28th awards and dinner ceremony at the Marriott Hotel. Among the awards that were presented were awards for GMSA Start-up business, the GMSA innovation and creativity award and awards for significant contributions to the oil and gas and manufacturing sectors. During the proceedings, GMSA President Ramsay Ali spoke of the association’s plans to build a complex in Ogle.

“We have a piece of land. The GMSA, we have a piece of land. We bought a piece of land, with our own money. Located in the new development taking place somewhere in the Ogle/Industry area.”

“And we’re going to build our property. Big dreams. We know what we want to build, we’re building a complex. Going to cost us big money. Going to cost us close to $250 Million. But we’ll build it in parts,” Ali further said, adding that one way they plan to raise the money is through fundraising.

Meanwhile, United States (US) Ambassador to Guyana, Nicole Theriot, lauded the effort GMSA has been making to represent the manufacturing sector. Further, she referenced the catalyst that the energy sector has been and the need to address the cost of energy.

“The energy sector has, of course, been the catalyst for Guyana’s remarkable growth. But investing and fostering other sectors at the same time is equally important. Economic growth does not always result in economic diversification.”

“You have to make a concerted effort. To shift the economy towards a wide range of sectors and markets, lower costs and more reliable electricity must be available. In addition to reliable and high-quality infrastructure such as bridges and roads,” Theriot said.

For the first half of this year, the manufacturing sector is estimated to have grown by 17.7 per cent. The non-oil economy, to which the manufacturing and services sector belongs, grew by 12.3 per cent.

Only recently, the GMSA launched the inaugural “IMPACK Manufacturers’ Summit”, scheduled for March 2024. This landmark event will bring together major Caribbean players to address challenges and explore opportunities in various manufacturing sectors, with a focus on enhancing Guyana’s competitive edge in the region’s manufacturing landscape.

The Summit aims to position Guyana as a leading manufacturing hub in the Caribbean by fostering collaboration, knowledge exchange, and innovation among local and regional manufacturers.

It will tackle critical issues such as access to finance, supply chain, labour, energy efficiency, and government policies, to develop practical strategies that boost the competitiveness and sustainability of the manufacturing sector in Guyana and the broader Caribbean region.

In keeping with its Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030, Guyana has continued to make key investments to expand its renewable energy sources. In April, a $625 million 1.5MW Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Farm was commissioned in Daag Point, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), to provide clean, renewable energy to over 3000 residents of Bartica and its surrounding communities.

Last year, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) had approved the use of US$83.8 million, earned from Norway by keeping Guyana’s rainforests intact, for the construction of eight solar farms, which aim to add renewable energy sources to Guyana’s grid.

Three of the solar farms in question will be built on vacant agricultural land at Prospect, (East Bank of Demerara), Hampshire on the Corentyne coast and Trafalgar in Mahaica-Berbice. In addition, two solar farms will be built on former mining land in Dacoura and Retrieve, while another one will be built in Block 37. All three sites are located in Linden, Region 10. The two final solar farms will be built at Onderneeming and Charity, both in Essequibo.

Then there is the long-awaited, 365-MegaWatt (mW) Amalia Falls Hydropower Project (AFHP), for which the People’s Progressive Party/Civic Government, in staying true to its promise, has reinvited Requests for Proposals (RFP) under a Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) model.

Only in July, the government disclosed that at least two proposals were received from companies in Brazil to do the hydro project. He had noted, too, that companies out of the United States have similarly submitted proposals to take over the initiative. There has also been interest from Korea and Austria.

The hydropower project, coupled with the 300 megawatts (MW) Gas-to-Energy Project and the solar power projects, are expected to cut electricity costs by 50 per cent, bringing with it, tremendous benefits for citizens and businesses, particularly the manufacturing sector, across Guyana.