With over $1 billion spent, Lethem Industrial Estate to be completed in May

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With over $1 billion spent on its development, the industrial estate at Lethem is scheduled for completion in May, officials of the Ministry of Business disclosed Thursday.

“We believe that this estate, along with the other developments such as the road from Lethem leading to the Atlantic Coast, other projects in renewable energy, will go a long way towards the economic development of this region”, Dominic Gaskin, Minister of Business said during a tour for prospective investors from Guyana and Brazil.

The application process for space on the industrial estate will begin soon, the Business Minister said.

“Before the end of second quarter of this year we should actually have approved the first of the applications for occupancy on the industrial estates,” Gaskin said.

The Lethem industrial estate currently under construction [DPI photo]
Chief Executive Officer for Guyana Office for Investment (GoInvest), Owen Verwey said while the industrial estate is one of the pilot areas for the Ministry of Business, “GoInvest will be actively responsible for in terms of processing the applications and assisting in allocating and managing the estate.”

GoInvest’s CEO said investing in one of the lots on the estate will be a wise business decision for those in industrial and commercial related activities.

Phase one of the Industrial Estate began under what was then Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce. The works done by this Ministry included 980 metres of asphalt access road and reinforced concrete drainage structure with four concrete culvert works at the sum of $183.9M.

Water distribution network and electricity supply to the estate was also initiated in 2014.

Aerial view of a section of the road network at the Lethem Industrial estate [DPI photo]
However, in 2015 a review and remodel of the design was undertaken by the Ministry of Business. According to the Business Ministry’s Head of Department of Industrial Development, Sharon Alexander, the remodelling lead to incorporating modern concepts and features that are in keeping with industrial estates and “greening” and environmental considerations.

The Ministry of Business, under phase two of the estate works, constructed 3020 metres of roads, 6040 metres of drains, culverts, water distribution network and retention ponds.

“The concept of the design is what’s called the cluster anchor and it presents several cavities that allow for space for each industry type,” Alexander said.

The estate will enable an environment to promote investments for the development and promotion of value-added manufacturing activities. This will not only create employment for the community of Lethem but all regions in the country.

The Business Ministry’s new design allows for the focus on value-added agriculture, engineering and construction, heavy equipment, sales and services.

A section of road in the Lethem Industrial Estate [DPI photo]
Small and medium enterprises are also included as well as agencies that complement larger industries. This includes the production of building materials, chemical and pharmaceutical, engineering and fabrication, food and agro-processing, woodworking, garment production, light manufacturing, warehousing and bond storage among others.

Government offices such as the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), National Insurance Scheme (NIS) and Small Business Bureau will be established to provide services to the estate as well as the community.

“70 acres of land was divided into 68 plots which varies from 1200 square metres to 4500 square metres, which will be located across 8 zones and the zones will provide facility for the industrial businesses with meeting halls, storeroom services, commercial shops, the business incubator and space for business centre as well as small business operators,” Alexander said.

The management of the estate’s plots will be confined to sustainable land use, controlled boundaries and enhanced security.

The eight zones include information and communications zones, processing and heavy-duty industry, light industry, medium industry, the green zone and warehouse facility.

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