By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) is accusing the government of starving other sugar estates of funds, in order to upkeep the Skeldon Sugar Factory.
As a matter of fact, APNU Member and former PNCR Parliamentarian, Anthony Vieira is of the view that the contentious factory is better off producing ethanol.
“Given how Skeldon is performing, I would say just off the top of my head that it would be far better if Skeldon were producing alcohol, ethanol,” Vieira told reporters at press conference on Tuesday, March 11.
“I say that because the canes of Guyana are very vegetative and when you’re taking a long time to harvest and grind, the cut to mill time, if it is large; it’s better you try to produce ethanol because no matter how old the cane is – one ton of cane will produce 10 gallons of ethanol,” the APNU Member explained.
Meanwhile, APNU Executive Member, Joseph Harmon chided the government for keeping the ‘turn around’ plan for the sugar industry a secret.
“The management of the industry has been found woefully wanting over the years, the turnaround plan did not have the level of buy in, even with GAWU complaining that they were not consulted in this turn – around plan.
“We have a clear situation where the turn – around plan for the industry is being kept a secret, where the appointment of management and directors of the Board is also a secret and where the systematic starvation of funds to the industry by the government have all contributed to what we have now in this country a dying industry.”
In March 2013, Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon had confirmed that the US$200M Skeldon Sugar Factory is a letdown. The factory was constructed in the hope that it would revitalize the country’s poor sugar production.