Superior Concrete Inc returns to Guyana after Directors expelled for visa violation

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Superior Concrete Inc, whose Directors – Richard Austin Shamlin and Ian Jones – were ordered to leave Guyana for flouting immigration laws, have returned; and this time they are working with the requisite authorities to legally set up their plant.

The company, in a statement, said it is leading the charge in developing a safe and responsible concrete company in Guyana. It said that because of Guyana’s newfound oil wealth and anticipated changes, it was attracted to set up operations here.

Superior Concrete has said it is here not only to “serve the budding oil and gas industry, but it will also aid in the country’s ongoing infrastructural development.”

Its Managing Director, Maxwell Snow, has said the company wants to capitalise on Guyana’s potential for change.

The company’s plant is a fully enclosed design, utilising advanced lasering technology which monitors the quality of the air in order to ensure air pollutants, primarily cement dust, are captured within the ‘silo’ filter system.

“Superior Concrete, in compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) standards, will put Guyana on the map as having the most state-of-the-art concrete batching plant in the Caribbean. Beyond mitigating the hazards posed by cement dust, Superior Concrete Inc will also utilise a recycling system for excess concrete and wastewater, which will be repurposed and reused,” the company said in its statement.

It further explained that the company has partnered with Guyanese-owned business Logistics GY Express as part of its local capacity-building programme, and added that it started capacity building through the apprenticeship programme for batch plant operators – a profession uncommon in Guyana. Further, the company has partnered with other local suppliers to provide trucks for its operations.

The company has said that it has since removed the controversial Shamlin, who was hostile to Housing and Water Minister Collin Croal earlier in 2021, when they served him a contravention notice for illegally setting up the concrete plant. Now, the company said, it is working with the appropriate agencies to achieve compliance.

“…the company has obtained permits issued by NIS and GRA, and have had their EPA notice published. The company will commence operations once they receive final approval from Central Housing and Planning Committee (Authority), through the Mayor and City Council.

This comes after the company received confirmation that their application for outline planning permission to establish their Concrete Batching Plant at a plot of land at the South-Eastern portion of Plate Area GIL2, Plantation Rome, Greater Georgetown, was deemed suitable for the proposed development by the CH&PA Planning Authority on the 23 September 2021,” it said.

In May, Guyana Office for Investment’s (GO-Invest’s) Chief Executive Officer Dr Peter Ramsaroop had said that Government is currently working along with Superior Concrete to make its investment viable.

It had previously been reported that foreign company Superior Concrete Inc had set up an illegal concrete plant at Houston Estates on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD). According to the reports, the company had set up operations at Houston without the requisite governmental approvals.

Richard Austin Shamlin, one of the Directors, was in May given 24 hours to leave Guyana. Shamlin had overstayed his time on his visitor’s visa. He was the second Director ordered to leave Guyana.
Shamlin had been hostile to Housing and Water Minister Collin Croal when he and officials from the CHPA had gone to the location to serve a third contravention order. Further, Shamlin had demanded that the Minister, CH&PA officials and the media leave the premises. However, the Minister had ignored him and engaged the media.

Ian Jones was the other Director of Superior Concrete Inc who was instructed by the Immigration Department to depart Guyana by May 19. In Jones’s case, it was discovered that his service was terminated by his previous employer in the oil sector, but he remained in Guyana on the work permit.

He, too, got into an altercation with housing officials, and according to Croal in his interview with the media, it was Jones who had taken the first order to desist that was served by housing officials and thrown it to the ground in front of them.

Superior Concrete is not the only investor the Government has decided to work along with in order to regularise their investments. When the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) entered office in September of last year, it was to find that a number of companies had improperly acquired land from the former A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government following its loss of the No-Confidence Motion in the National Assembly.

These companies had included Cevons Waste Management, which used its land to build a new office on Mandela Avenue, Georgetown, as well as Car Care Enterprise, which acquired several acres of land at Plantation Ruimveldt, Greater Georgetown, below the market price.