Your Eyewitness was intrigued to read that the Private Investor who’d promised in Feb 2018 that he’d have a modular refinery ready “within a year” – meaning by Feb 2019 is still at it. He’d worried that only the PNC was working on “Guyana time”! To us mudlandrs, meeting deadlines – even constitutional or self-imposed ones – are such a bore. Spontaneity is our thing, man!! Go with the flow!!
Back in 2018, the highly-hyped plan by the (former?) rice marketing magnate was to put up a 10,000bpd modular plant that would cost some US$100 million at Linden and provide scads of jobs for that community that had become the cynosure of political eyes. At the time, your Eyewitness had some serious doubts on the viability of the plan – which still remain. Even though we’re now told, the plan is downsized to start with modules producing only some 4000bpd and costing US$36M.
The big question was why Linden?? Two years before,- the same businessman had announced with the same amount of gusto – that he’d be launching the production of Industrial Hemp from the same locale. This was going to be the next best thing that would lift Guyana out of its poverty stricken status. Oil was not to come until a few months later with the Exxon strike. Was he now moving into oil refining after no progress on the hemp front and he’d already bought land?
Anyhow back to the questions. With these modular refineries, it’s most attractive feature in they can cut down on transportation costs by locating near the source of the crude. That’s not an inconsiderable saving when you think of running a pipeline from the source or shipping it in by tankers. At the time, the hemp/rice maven had insisted that he’d be purchasing crude from the open market until oil starts flowing from the Exxon field in 2020.
Both of these options meant that the fella would be shipping crude up the Demerara River with its notorious bar and all – piling up costs. But the sourcing of the crude oil just didn’t make sense. There are hundreds of variations in the composition of crude – and modular refineries are pretty much customised to deal with oil of a specific composition. Had he tested the Guyana sweet and light to determine his needs?
Then there was the marketing. Guyana uses approx. 13-15,000 bpd. Was SOL, Esso and Guyoil going to give this new kid on the block their business as opposed to their own refineries?? Then, what was the fella going to do with the 26% waste products since he wasn’t going to go further upstream?
Dumping them into the bauxite lakes?
Caretaker President David Granger seemed to’ve hit a raw nerve in his WPA partner over his refusal to go along with their unconditional, universal cash transfer proposal of US$5000 or GY$1.3million (at the latest exchange rate!) per family – annually. Granger insists he’s guided by the homily not to hand out fishes, like Jesus, but to teach folks how to fish, like Peter.
He insists that education will liberate all Guyana from the shackles of poverty. But it’s clear he’s spent too much time in the barracks, locked away from the reality of Guyana. The question is, what does “education” mean for Guyanese? The experience over the course of our history – especially after independence under his mentor Burnham says this.
The brightest students will get admitted into Medical and Engineering schools. The next in line will earn MBA’s, LLB’s and ACCA’s and go on to manage the top students. The third tier students – like Granger – will enter politics and run the first two batches.
The failures will go into crime and control the politicians and businesses!!
What has Patterson’s achievements at MPI been? Incomplete, chaotic ECD widening; Burnhamite blackouts; a fraudulent new DHB design bid; still incomplete CJIA modernisation.
But paradigmatically of his ineptness, he can’t even get elevators working on the EBD crosswalks!!