Local businessmen to set up US$600M shore base, container terminal

– 1000 Guyanese to be employed

With the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) having screened their project and found no significant risk to the environment, a consortium of local businesses that is aiming to construct a multi-million US dollars shore base and terminal has been given the greenlight to commence construction.

A conceptual design of the proposed facility

EPA referenced Andron Alphonso in its notice granting exemption from an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the construction of a shore base at Foreshore Plantation Best on the West Bank of Demerara (WBD). Information reaching this publication is that the principals are looking to start the first phase of the project in November 2021.
According to a notice issued by the EPA, the applications for these projects were screened and it was determined that they will not significantly affect the environment. EPA also noted that minor issues can be addressed through “appropriate and practical environmental safeguards at the respective proposed location and its environs.”
While it noted that an EIA is not necessary, the EPA said that an Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) is needed to address specific issues that were identified during the screening process. Additionally, mitigation measures must be detailed.
Based on the project documents, the project is being carried out by the NRG Group, a local consortium with a combined 100 years of experience doing business locally. Shareholders of the group include National Hardware Limited, Hadi’s World Inc and ZRN Investments Incorporated. The construction of the project will be done by Jan De Nul Group – an overseas-based company with years of experience in this field.
According to the documents, it is a US$200 to US$600 million investment that will include geotechnical and environmental studies, engineering works, dredging operations, reclamation, and the construction of wharf, storage, warehouse, and safety facilities.
It will also occupy 400 hectares of coastal and nearshore land and water at Best, WBD. According to the documents, the area consists of both natural and manmade sea defence structures, mud bank and beaches and 60 hectares of mangrove forests. According to the project document, most of the mangroves will be left intact.
“It must be noted that the proposed project does not contemplate large scale removal of the mangrove forest in the area. The plan is to leave the existing forest intact as far as practical. There may be some minor impacts due to clearance for example access road, but these are expected to be insignificant. The final designs will articulate the level of footprint expected,” the documents stated.
When it comes to employment, approximately 150 to 200 persons will be employed during construction and 50 to 100 persons will be employed for the basic operation and maintenance of the base port facilities.
“It is further expected that once phase 1 components are fully operational, inclusive of service providers, approximately 1000 persons will be employed. This number is expected to double with phase 2 components completed and operationalised,” NRG stated.
Phase one of the project will see the deepening, widening and dredging of the access channel, as well as land reclamation. It also includes an offshore terminal, dry dock facility and fabrication yard spanning 65 hectares. Meanwhile, phase two involves deepening the dredging of the access canal and expanded reclamation.
The announcement of NRG’s impending construction of a shore base facility that will service Guyana’s burgeoning oil sector comes in the same month that Canadian-owned company CGX Energy Incorporated, which only recently started drilling for oil in the Corentyne Block offshore Guyana, commenced construction on a deep-water port in the Berbice River.
The CGX deep-water harbour project has been in the works since 2010, when the company secured a 50-year lease on the property. But it wasn’t until late 2020 that GCIE began advertising for a number of senior positions related to the deep-water harbour project, including the positions of Project Manager, Civil Engineer and Health, Safety and Environmental Officer.
Through the construction of its deep-water port, CGX has said it hopes to support Guyana’s rapidly growing oil and gas sector, as well as agricultural exports, container imports and exports. In addition, the deep-water harbour is expected to facilitate cruise ship docking and regional shipping.
Additionally, Guyana Shore Base (GYSBI), a Guyanese-owned port company that currently serves as a crucial conduit between ExxonMobil’s operations offshore and the supplies on shore, had said in April that it will complete the US$16 million expansion of its facilities in October.