By Kurt Campbell
In a bold move to build stronger relationships between Guyanese suppliers and prime contractors, ExxonMobil on Monday opened massive a two-day Supplier Development Forum, bringing together hundreds of local businesses for face to face engagements.
The forum is taking place ahead of first oil in early 2020 and while the Government is yet to put in place its local content policy but with a mandate to increase competitiveness and prepare local companies to join the oil and gas supply chain.
ExxonMobil believes the timing of the forum is opportune as it seeks to maximize local content opportunities in its Guyana operations.
Delivery opening remarks at the forum, ExxonMobil’s Country Manager Rod Henson was keen to point out that the hosting of the forum was part of the U.S oil giant’s commitment to support local economic development.
The forum is being hosted in alignment with the mandate of the Centre for Local Business Development (CLBD) and forms part of continuous efforts to strengthen local suppliers’ capabilities to actively and efficiently participate in the oil and gas sector.
Henson said as oil revenues ramp up so will expectations of living and urged local businesses not be left behind during what he called the “transformational decade.”
He said over the next 10 years, there must also be a significant transformation of local industries, something he cautioned would not happen overnight.
The Country Manager anticipates that this period will be characterized by, among other things, entrepreneurs taking risks but hastened to assure that ExxonMobil is bound by duty to support businesses during this period.
The forum is also linked directly to the operations of the Liza Phase 1 Development Project.
The Day – 1 session is intended to help the over 300 companies that have submitted Expressions of Interest and Requests for Information better understand the procurement process.
Over 1,000 local companies, registered with the Centre’s Supplier Portal, were invited to the Day-2 event.
Prime Contractors along with ExxonMobil Guyana and CLBD will stage an exhibition where local business representatives will have an opportunity to speak directly to prime contractors of the Liza 1 Development Project.
ExxonMobil hosts supplier forums globally, but this program has been tailored to provide direct access to the company in Guyana.