Guyana eyeing Caribbean market to supply 200 tonnes of refined sugar – Mustapha


Following the recent announcement to construct a sugar refinery at the closed Enmore Estate, the Guyana Government is looking to take advantage of the market within the Caribbean to supply refined sugar.

This was disclosed by Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha during a panel discussion on ‘Investing in Guyana: Growing Opportunities’ at the International Energy Conference that is being held at the Marriott Hotel in Georgetown.

During his presentation, Mustapha noted that Government is moving to mechanise the agriculture industry in order to increase production and productivity. He added one of the areas where efforts are moving apace towards mechanization is the sugar industry from field to factory.

This, according to the minister, will see the sector moving from the traditional way of producing bulk sugar to now packaged and refined sugar.

“I’m hoping that we can have a big investment this year where we’ll have a sugar refinery built here in Guyana that we could [use to] refine our sugar. Right in the Caribbean, we have the opportunity to supply the Caribbean with over 200 tonnes of refined sugar,” Mustapha stated.

Earlier this month, President Dr Irfaan Ali announced that the Enmore Sugar Estate, one of several estates that were closed down and abandoned by the previous A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Government, will be reconstructed into a sugar refinery within the next two years.

The Head of State had disclosed that an investor will fund the project. He subsequently revealed that Government is in the final stages of getting an investor for this refinery.
Additionally, the Guyanese Leader had noted that 150 workers are being trained to specifically work in the refinery once it is constructed.

President Ali had, some time ago, disclosed that the Enmore estate would be developed into an industrial zone and a state-of-the-art machine shop and pipe yard. However, those plans have been changed following the investor indicating interest in development of the estate.

As a result, this sugar refinery has become another project under the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) Government aimed at revitalizing the sugar industry.

With Guyana’s brown sugar production now projected to again increase to 100,000 tonnes annually from this year, the Head of State explained, the Enmore facility would be able to refine up to 180,000 metric tonnes annually.

“We are investing in the (Guyana Sugar Corporation) because it is going to be made profitable…we have an investor, who is in the final stage of the investment decision, soon to convert the Enmore Sugar Estate, that is now scrapped, into a sugar refinery to refine the brown sugar there,” the Head of State said.

Further, President Ali disclosed that the facility will provide opportunities for “hundreds of upskilled jobs” and logistics to supply the refinery.

“Hundreds of upskill jobs will be created there, more opportunities for transport and logistics again to fuel that refinery. So, all of these things that I am telling you about here is one the card to unload itself in two years’ time,” President Ali announced.

A refinery is different from a sugar mill, in that the latter crushes the cane stalks, squeezes the juice from the plant, and facilitates crystallisation of the juice so it turns into raw sugar; whereas a refinery converts that raw sugar into food grade white sugar.