Over US$1B invested in Public, Private Sector projects in Reg 3 – Ali
…says increased investments a countrywide phenomenon
With over US$1 billion in new public and private sector investments in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) and the plethora of new investments countrywide, increased confidence in Guyana’s development is becoming all the more apparent.
This is according to President Dr Irfaan Ali, speaking during the opening of Sheriff General Hospital at Leonora, West Coast Demerara (WCD), on Saturday. According to the President, who himself hails from Leonora, the hospital is a manifestation of the boom in investments in the region and across the country.
“In this region and I challenge any analytical mind to examine the entire region now. Look at the collective investment, as against this one region in Guyana alone, in ongoing roads and work alone in Region Three. More than US$1 billion is invested here in this region, from the public and private sector,” Ali said.
“Can you imagine a system that was designed to implement $10 billion, a system that has been institutionally designed, for Government and private sector, to implement a $10 billion programme in maybe five years, is now tasked with implementing $200 billion programme in three years. This is the reality.”
Examples of the large investments in Region Three are found spread out across sectors, including in housing, hospitality and oil. There is even the large scale, US$300 million Vreed-en-Hoop shore base investment, which will be operational by December.
“On my left and on my right alone, that is the private sector development, the new bank that is being developed and the thousands of house lots. And on my right, the new hospital, the mall, the apartment buildings, the condos,” President Ali pointed out.
“In this locality alone that we are sitting, on my left and right, is an investment of more than $25 billion. In our wildest dreams, we could not have imagined such a transformation. And this is not just the story of Region Three and Leonora. This is the story of every single region in this country,” President Ali said.
The Vreed-en-Hoop Shore Base Inc (VEHSI) is currently the largest Guyanese private sector investment in the oil and gas sector, and is expected to cost over US$300 million. According to the project directors, the support and encouragement given by the Government of Guyana have been reassuring, and augur well for additional investment and the future of Guyana.
Vreed-en-Hoop Shore base Inc is a joint venture between NRG Holdings Inc — a 100 per cent Guyanese-owned consortium that is the majority shareholder – and Jan De Nul, an international maritime infrastructure company headquartered in Luxembourg.
One of the VEHSI directors, Nicholas Boyer, in a presentation at the International Energy Expo earlier this year, had outlined the pace of works and the long-term vision of the project, which will eventually see the full Port of Vreed-en-Hoop completed with as much as 800 acres of port facilities.
He had explained that Guyana needs deeper maritime accessibility, and VESHI can deliver this along with the additional benefit of reducing shipping costs by 10 to 12 per cent of what currently obtains.
“Once fully realised, the Port of Vreed-en-Hoop will tie into the country’s vision to expand Guyana’s development,” he had said, adding that there is space for expansion, and VEHSI can facilitate other shore base buildings, thereby making unnecessary, the need for foreign bases to support operations in Guyana.
Region Three is also under major public infrastructural development, including the $13 billion Schoonord to Crane four-lane highway and the new Demerara Harbour Bridge. Works have been moving aggressively on the new four-lane highway in Region Three, which is expected to be completed by mid-2024.
In September 2022, some $11.8 billion in contracts were signed for the construction of the Schoonord to Crane four-lane highway – a project that is part of a much larger initiative to establish a secondary road link to Parika, East Bank Essequibo (EBE).
The highway will be a modern one with features that will allow for easy and free flow of traffic at both ends. These include two roundabouts, 11 reinforced concrete box culverts, 36 pre-stressed bridges, and road signage and markings.
The project was awarded to eight contractors – VR Construction Inc, Avinash Contracting & Scrap Metal Inc, L-Heureuse Construction and Services Inc, GuyAmerica Construction Inc, AJM Enterprise, Vals Construction, Puran Bros Disposal Inc, and JS Guyana Inc.
Another mega project in Region Three is the gas-to-shore project, which includes the construction of an integrated Natural Gas Liquid (NGL) plant and the 300-megawatt (MW) combined cycle power plant at Wales on the West Bank of Demerara (WBD).
Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips, whose office is responsible for the country’s energy sector, had said during the National Assembly’s consideration of Financial Paper No 4 of 2022 in February that $24.6 billion has already been injected into the start-up of the transformational project.
With a timetable to deliver rich gas by the end of 2024 and the NGL plant to be online by 2025, a net total of 250 MW of power is expected to be delivered into the Guyana Power and Light Grid at a substation located on the East Bank of the Demerara River.
In addition to the US$759.8 million Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract, the supervision of the NGL and 300 MW power plant components of the project will cost another US$23 million.