GOGEC, EPA sign MoU for energy sector collaboration

With the aim of building relations, the Guyana Oil and Gas Energy Chamber (GOGEC) on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to collaborate in the local energy sector.
The MoU was signed by GOGEC President Manniram Prashad and EPA Head Kemraj Parsram.

GOGEC President Manniram Prashad and EPA Head Kemraj Parsram sign the MoU for cooperation in the local energy sector

According to the Energy Chamber, the objective of the agreement is to provide a framework for cooperation between both parties. It is also geared towards facilitating business development while promoting public participation in relation to scoping of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and encouraging a better understanding and appreciation of the natural environment and its role in economic development within the energy sector.
“GOGEC’s aim is to create and build relationships with key agencies in Guyana to work in collaboration and facilitate key players in the energy sector,” it was noted.
Speaking with Guyana Times on the MoU, Prashad explained that it was to foster closer and stronger cooperation and collaboration between members of GOGEC in the oil and gas industry and the EPA. The Chamber President said the body wanted to be a facilitator between its membership and the regulatory arm, especially in the event an issue arises that affects the environment.
“We just want to make sure that the EPA and members of the Oil and Gas Chamber work in harmony. The whole idea is to make sure that whilst we pursue our interests and we pursue getting the maximum from the oil and gas industry, we want to make sure we take care of the environment,” he stated.
Prashad noted that the Chamber has been supportive of and satisfied with the work of the EPA and was looking to continue these efforts through the MoU signed not only to benefit its members but all Guyana as well.
“So, as issues arise, we will deal with them with the EPA, but so far we’ve had no issues and we’re very satisfied with the way in which the EPA has been carrying out its mandate,” he posited.
The issues on which GOGEC is seeking to partner with the Agency include events that have an impact on the environment such as oil spills.
According to Prashad, the MoU is positioned in such a way that before such an event occurs, the two entities will have regular engagements and monitoring so as to anticipate such activities and have solutions in place.
Moreover, he further stated that GOGEC and the EPA have already established a close relationship over the past years, and through this new pact, they were looking to expand their ties. In fact, GOGEC plans to invite the EPA Head to participate in its student programme that informs young people of the opportunities in the oil and gas sector. Parsram would be asked to talk to the students about the environment.
“So, all that is on the cards to assist GOGEC and EPA in our mandate to ensure that the environment is preserved and our members operate within the laws of Guyana and the Environmental [Protection] Agency,” Prashad said.
Since its establishment in 2017, GOGEC has been an active participant in a number of initiatives within the energy sector, including the training of locals.
According to its website, GOGEC is described as an independent, apolitical, non-profit organisation that is aiming to be the mediator, the interlocutor, and the negotiator for all the stakeholders in Guyana’s oil, gas, petrochemical, and heavy industrial sectors.
It was noted that its President, a former Industry and Commerce Minister as well as Private Sector executive, sees it fit to use his skills and knowledge to establish an organisation to harness the players in the industry to ensure that they all speak with a collective voice to address any anomalies that may arise in the industry.
The intention is to ensure that the Chamber educate all Guyanese about this new industry by hosting several seminars, trade missions, and expositions throughout the entire country. It also planned to conduct a regional and international symposium to attract investors to fill the gap in those areas where there are opportunities.
GOGEC’s strategic priority areas are: to ensure that there are equal opportunities for all the operators and potential operators within the industry; to ensure that the revenue generated from the industry contributes to sustainable and economic growth and development of Guyana and all Guyanese; to continually strive to enhance the Chamber’s ability to better serve its members while operating as a self-sustaining, non-profit and non-political organisation, and to promote trade, investments and knowledge transfer within the energy sector to all members and stakeholders.