Work on infrastructure for deep-water port linking Brazil to be advanced – Pres Ali

…with Pres Lula to visit Guyana this week

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s impending visit to Guyana is expected to hasten work on the infrastructure for the deep-water port that will be built to cut down on transportation time for food supplies between Guyana, Northern Brazil and the Region, and improve regional logistics.
This was announced by President Dr Irfaan Ali, during the 12th Annual Consultation with Caribbean Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on Saturday. He explained that in addition to Brazil, this infrastructure will also link French Guiana to Guyana.

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

“We’re working with Brazil’s President Lula who is coming in a few days… to complete the infrastructure to link a deep-water port on the Atlantic. Linking Northern Brazil… And reengineering the food supply and logistics hub, through Guyana, through Barbados, through Jamaica, through the entire region.
“So, that we can now move food south to north. So, that’s the new infrastructure we’re building, linking French Guiana, the bridge across the Corentyne River, under discussion. A new bridge across the Berbice River… 45 bridges being constructed along the highway, going into northern Brazil,” President Ali said.
Meanwhile, he further explained that discussions are being had with the Investment arm of the IDB, on the United Kingdom and Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) funded Linden-to-Lethem Road.
“The first 121 kilometres of road under construction. Discussions about the further 421 kilometres… we had a meeting with IDB Invest, on bringing together this investment and bringing together the Private Sector playing a key role in catalysing this growth. So, that will improve access and infrastructure, expand markets and create tremendous opportunities,” he explained.
The Linden-Lethem Road is being upgraded to an all-weather road, with the contractor being required to produce an asphaltic surface capable of withstanding the heavily laden lorries which currently use the thoroughfare.

Example of a deep-water port

The first phase of the project focuses on a two-lane asphaltic concrete highway being constructed to replace the current trail of sand and dirt. The road will be approximately 121 kilometres long and 7.2 metres wide. The project is expected to last for three years. With tangible works taking place, residents have started focusing on the new possibilities for business opportunities.
The project is being funded by the CDB via a US$112 million loan, a grant to the tune of £50 million (US$66 million) from the United Kingdom under the Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund (CIPF), and an input of US$12 million from the Guyana Government.
With a 7.2-metre-wide carriageway, the Linden-to-Mabura Road will feature a cycle and pedestrian lane measuring 2 metres wide, along with 10 bus stops outfitted with ramps for persons with disabilities. Additionally, several bridges and culverts along the way will be replaced, and some 123 lights will be installed.
Meanwhile, there had long been talk of the Guyana Government facilitating the development of a deep-water port, though the Government has said it prefers a privately-led Build, Own, Operate model to finance the project. Further, investors from as far as Dubai and India have been considered for the project.
The potential benefits of a deep-water port have long been recognised, particularly when providing critical assistance to the rice, sugar and agro-processing sectors. This is particularly important since Guyana is a frontrunner in the charge to reduce the Caribbean Community (Caricom) food import bill by 25 per cent by 2025.