Local company eyes possibility of building oil tankers in Guyana

…also looking to develop floating dry-docking facility

Guyana Port Incorporated (GPI), a local company that offers dry-docking and ship repair services, has aspirations of moving into shipbuilding, in particular the future building of oil tankers even as Guyana’s oil and gas sector flourishes.
This is according to Pritipaul Singh Jr, the Managing Director of GPI. He was at the time making a presentation on Tuesday at the 2024 Local Content Summit, held at the Pegasus Suites and Corporate Centre.
“In our journey towards enhancing our client’s experience, we have focused on the systemisation of our business processes. We are in dry docking and fabrication services. We are now looking at an immediate investment into dredging. And also, into shipbuilding. So, we want to be building barges, tugs and eventually, cargo vessels and even oil tankers in Guyana.”
“With the dry-docking facility, which we know is of paramount importance right now in this industry, especially for the oil and gas sector, we’ve steadily worked towards developing a joint venture, Demerara Docks Incorporated,” Singh explained.
He also had a message for other business leaders, reminding them of their responsibility to contribute to national development. For his part, he spoke about his company’s efforts to develop its own human resources.
“We all talk about what the Government can do and all the problems that we have. But what can we do as business people, as business leaders in Guyana, to really build the people who live here and work here, to make them better people within Guyana?” the Managing Director said.
“In 2024, we anticipate that all our welders will be certified and enhancing our operations. Our workforce is our strength. And I’m pleased to highlight that 96 per cent of our employment are Guyanese. In response to the competitive demand for labour in Guyana, we not only offer a good salary, but we also cultivate a company culture that fosters belonging and engagement.”
Established in 2019, GPI, according to its official page, has the only 2000-metric-ton floating dry dock in the country as of 2022. The dock, according to the company, measures 80 metres in length and 16 metres in breadth and can accommodate vessels with an even keel of three metres.
It was further explained that GPI is strategically located 16 kilometres from the mouth of the Demerara River and offers a full range of general repair services including engineering, electrical, propulsion, accommodation upgrades, marine fitting, sand blasting and painting as well as outsourced procurement, testing, trials, and class surveys.
Last year, Private Sector Commission (PSC) Chairman Komal Singh had sounded calls for stakeholders to work along with the Guyana Government in order to aggressively pursue the deepening of local ports to accommodate deep-draft vessels.
Speaking at the 31st Anniversary Gala and Awards Ceremony of the PSC, Singh had underscored the need to deepen Guyana’s ports in order to facilitate large cargo vessels on a 24-hour basis. Currently, Guyana has only tidal ports.
Over the past year, President Dr Irfaan Ali has been pushing his vision to make Guyana a logistics hub in the region. With work ongoing on a paved road through Lethem to connect to Northern Brazil, and with the Corentyne River Bridge to connect with Suriname pending, the aim is to use Guyana as a transshipment hub to get cargoes moved to neighbouring countries as well as to other nations in the region. (G3)