President David Granger on Friday commissioned Guyana’s first oil spill response operation service at the Gaico Wharf at Nismes, West Bank Demerara.
Gaico Oil Spill Response Operation Services, which was coined by Komal Singh, is set up as a pre-emptive measure against probable spillage once production commences in the future.
President Granger commended Singh for his “forward” thinking and initiative while stating that by casting his sight on Guyana’s emerging petroleum sector he has positioned himself, and moreover the company for ground-breaking incomes.
He stated that foresight and economic entrepreneurship will harness significant benefits and so Guyana should prepare itself for new economic sectors. He indicated that while Government is confident that the production of petroleum will create new opportunities, it will not end Guyana’s economic challenges: “We cannot therefore fold our arms and wait for the anticipated bonanza; we must create a balanced and diversified economy.”
Thus, he posited that an “entrepreneurship culture” will allow Guyana to develop world class products and services within its green economy and enable it to be more resilient and less susceptible to economic shocks.
He explained that over the past century Guyana has been on the receiving end of such shocks because of its over-reliance on bauxite, fish, gold, silver and timber; and it is time to delve into free enterprise.
However, he did indicated that in an environment where entrepreneurship is fostered would require developed infrastructure, access to cheap electricity, innovation, and investments will advance the economy.
The Gaico company began in 1991 with Singh working on small construction projects in Region Three. Singh stated that he had noticed that there are a number of near misses of oil spills and decided to pursue the avenue of preparing for one in Guyana. He said that the company has since invested in a supply boat to work alongside rigs and supply them with fuel and cargo, while preparing for any occurrence of an oil spill.
“Should there be a spill anywhere we can respond within 24 hours,” he said, adding that the company is in the process of putting together documents to gain approval for an oil spill facility which will collect the contaminated soil and process it.
He stated that he had recognised that Guyana was not prepared for any oil spills, thus “Guyana can rest assure that there is a company here today that will invest in to protect our land, our coastline, our birds, our mangroves, and all Guyana.”