3000 persons to be employed by Wales gas-to-shore project
Upon its completion in 2023, Government’s transformative gas-to-shore project will see over 3000 persons gaining employment.
The PPP/C Government has identified the former Wales Sugar Estate on the West Bank of Demerara as the site for the landing of the pipelines that will bring to shore, gas for the power generation plant.
According to Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh during the presentation of Budget 2021 on Friday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), the Wales Development Authority (WDA) will not only distinguish itself as the industrial centre of the Caribbean but will also serve immediately as an employment generating facility.
“When in operation, the Wales Development Authority stands to employ well over 3000 persons on a full-time basis in fields ranging from manual, technical, professional, administrative among others across the various enterprises to be located under the WDA. This, of course, is not taking into consideration the myriad range of indirect employment that will be generated, which very easily will account for a figure well beyond that established for direct employment,” he contended.
The Finance Minister pointed out that for so long, Guyana has been forced to import fossil fuels to generate energy, resulting in manufacturers and potential investors belabouring the cost of energy as a constraint to investment or expansion.
However, he noted that with the planned gas-to-shore pipeline slated to come on stream in two years’ time, the country will finally be able to expand manufacturing opportunities, have a low-cost source of energy, access to labour from surrounding housing developments and a ready road network through the WDA.
Dr Singh further posited that Government will commence work this year on the WDA project by drafting and passing the requisite legislation to create the authority.
“As we speak, consulting services are being procured to conduct the geotechnical, geophysical, environmental impact, and Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) studies to determine the location where the gas line would land as well as the sites for the drying facilities, co-generation plant, and essential petrochemical industries. The construction of the co-generation plant and laying of the pipeline will begin next year and finish during 2023.”
He added, “When the power plant comes on stream, the electricity cost will be a fraction of the current rate paid by consumers. The reduction in electricity cost is expected to attract large industrial, agro-processing, and manufacturing firms.”
In order to make the WDA more attractive as an industrial zone, the Finance Minister outlined that special incentives will also be provided to motivate investors to set up operations in Wales. This strategic policy initiative by this Government, providing tangible support to these non-oil sectors, will ultimately provide the enabling environment for the country’s diversification efforts to take root and become sustainable.
In this regard, a sustainable and competitive agriculture and manufacturing sector that will be supported through the WDA will provide the groundwork for overall sustainable robust economic performance.
President Dr Irfaan Ali has already said that the gas-to-shore project will transform Guyana’s economic landscape, thus bringing tremendous development for all.
He had noted that the landing of the gas-to-shore pipeline in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) would lead to “big industrial development taking place there that is linked to not only power generation and a power plant.”
The Head of State went on to add that the investment on the Demerara River’s shoreside would also create massive opportunities and a trickle-down effect. (G8)