Deep-water harbour in Guyana would reduce time, transport cost – US Ambassador
United States Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch has pointed to the need for a deep-water port in Guyana, something she described as an infrastructural gap.
The Ambassador made the call during an event which was hosted last week at the Guyana Marriott Hotel.
According to the Ambassador, such a port will aid in reducing the time it takes to transport goods and moreover the costs attached to doing so.
A deep-water harbour is a fixed or floating structure that is built at strategic points in a country to serve as a hub for the transport of goods. It is known to be a major source of aiding in economic growth as it links the country to several others. The port is useful in not only shipping items to that country cheaper, but serves as a gateway for other countries’ goods to pass through as well.
With approximately 80 per cent of the world’s merchandise trade carried by ships, maritime transport remains by far the most common mode of international freight and transport.
Last June, a credible source at the Public Infrastructure Ministry told Guyana Times that Kurupukari village along the Essequibo River, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) was one of four possible locations to develop the port.
Other potential locations for the establishment of the port include the Berbice and Demerara Rivers.
Guyana Times was told that a team of engineers visited Kurupukari back in April 2018, to conduct a study on the possibility of a bridge being erected across the mighty Essequibo River at the settlement, the site of crossings via ferries.
According to the source, the bridge would mark the first phase of the development of the long-awaited deep-water port.
The source at that time had reliably informed that the bridge was necessary to accommodate “proper linkages” of the regions.
The source also noted that the Ministry’s team visited the Takutu Bridge, which links Lethem with Brazil, since the new bridge is likely to have a similar design.
Since feasibility studies were being conducted, the source was unable to say how much such a project would cost.
The subject Minister, David Patterson was unable to give an update on the major project when contacted on Monday.
In June 2018, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) said that as early as the first quarter of 2019, the Government of Guyana will have a clear idea of where to site the deep-water port and an even better understanding of what is required to make the Guyana-Brazil land transport link a reality.
It went on to state that the Government has been partnering with the IDB via a Technical Cooperation Agreement to advance the Guyana-Brazil land transport link and deep-water port.
“At present, three companies have been engaged and are working simultaneously to help move various aspects of the project into fruition. The results of the three studies to help the Government of Guyana make a determination will be completed by early 2019,” the IDB release stated.
Further, the deep-water port location optimisation studies are being conducted by the Maritime and Transport Business Solutions (MTBS).
The MTBS will, therefore, have the responsibility of preparing business case scenarios for four of the potential sites identified for the project, as well as undertaking financial and economic option analyses and subsequently developing a proposal and preliminary design for development of the selected option.
Only recently, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo had revealed that there seemed to be a rush by the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GL&SC) which falls under the Ministry of the Presidency to give out prime lands at strategic locations where there lies a possibility to develop shore base facilities.
The Opposition Leader also revealed that areas where some of the lands were given out were earmarked for prime development, adding that the land grab” was taking place in strategic locations – locations for possible shore base facilities, deep-water harbours, and other major infrastructural developments”.
Lands have been given out at Bohemia, Region Six (East Berbice- Corentyne) and parts of the Demerara River.