The multi-billion Guyana dollar ‘Port of Vreed-en-Hoop’ facility that will feature a major shore base at Foreshore, Plantation Best on the West Bank of Demerara has been given the greenlight by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The project will see an investment of up to GY$120 billion (US$600 million) by the 100-percent Guyanese-owned consortium NRG Holdings Inc. Some of the features of the facility will include an offshore terminal; dry dock facility; a fabrication yard; offshore components; umbilical preparation and spooling yard; administrative buildings to house offices and modernised logistics centers; warehousing; area for a helipad; a wharf, berths, and a dry dock.
The port facility is expected to generate massive employment and revenue opportunities for Guyanese. Located at Vreed-en-Hoop, Region Three, it will occupy some 400 hectares of coastal land. Approximately 150-200 persons are expected to be hired during construction and 50-100 persons for the basic operation and maintenance of the base port facilities indicated in phase one.
According to the investors, the facility will also see services previously provided out of Trinidad now being carried out in Guyana, with the local economy benefitting from employment, duties and taxes, ancillary goods and services and capacity-building.
Nicholas Deygoo-Boyer, one of the partners within the consortium stated that the project will not service the oil and gas industry only but will also cater to all sectors that require a port facility. “We aim for this project to be transformative, not only for the oil and gas sector, but also for the ordinary person on the street as we seek to reduce shipping costs with this new container terminal.”
Meanwhile, Azruddin Mohamed of Hadi’s World Incorporated –another partner in the consortium –expressed appreciation that the Government is creating an enabling business environment, allowing for the project to create employment for thousands of Guyanese.
With the issuance of the Environmental Permit, NRG Holdings Inc. will now have to submit an Environmental and Social Management Plan to the EPA within four months. The Plan will outline the mitigation measures for any impact that the project will have within the proposed area and surrounding communities.
The permit also guides the hours of construction, as well as the authorisation protocol for use of the land.
Secretary of the consortium, Mr. Andron Alphonso said, “NRG Holdings Inc. is committed to pursuing this development in a manner that is beneficial to all stakeholders. We want to ensure that as we contribute to local content development and provide opportunities for Guyanese in the oil and gas sector, we also do so in a way that is responsible and sustainable.”
He said the project must be wholly beneficial not just to the investors but to the citizens in the surrounding communities and other stakeholders as well.
The Port of Vreed-en-Hoop project is a direct result of opportunities that are arising from the development of the oil and gas sector and its demands and takes into account the untapped opportunities in terms of services that are required by the sector, but are being provided outside of Guyana’s territory.