Nalco Champion still wants long term chemical warehouse in Guyana
Nalco Champion Guyana Inc. on Tuesday officially confirmed that it will begin operations in Trinidad and Tobago but reaffirmed its commitment to setting up its operations in Guyana in the long term.
The company is contracted to supply offshore chemicals to the Liza Destiny Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) in the Stabroek Block, offshore Guyana but was forced to abandon its plans because of its inability to adhere to measures put forward by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in time for its operations to begin here.
The Liza Destiny arrived in Guyana on August 29 ahead of oil production set for the first quarter of 2020.
The chemical company, however, in a statement Tuesday noted that it is “continuing with its long-term plans of establishing a product storage facility in the country.”
The Chemical company explained that it received an Interim Environmental Authorization from the EPA last week to begin operations at the John Fernandes Ltd. Main Terminal on Water Street, however, the interim authorization came with certain stipulations that would prevent the company from ensuring reliable operations in Guyana within the timeframe required, Nalco Champion explained.
The statement quoted John Waldvogel, Nalco Champion Guyana’s Country Readiness Manager who said: “To provide the operational assurance of product supply to the Liza Destiny FPSO and meet our contractual obligations, we will begin operations from Trinidad.
“However, we will continue working with the EPA, local authorities and members of the community to secure our Environmental Authorization to establish long-term operations in Guyana.”
“We remain committed to Guyana and operating in a responsible manner,” he added.
The company assured that it is committed to ensuring the safety of the environment and the communities in which we operate.
“We will continue supporting our Guyanese employees and work with the EPA, local authorities and the community to address questions about our operations,” the Country Readiness Manager said.
The company had trained seven Guyanese to work at its facility.
In response to questions asked by the News Room at the sidelines of an event on Monday, Executive Director of the EPA, Dr. Vincent Adams had explained that the agency requested that Nalco Champion Guyana satisfy three conditions.
Those conditions were: to ensure good mitigative actions are in place in case of an accident, submit an Environmental Impact Assessment document and garner the Guyana Fire Service’s support to be available at all time to deal with any incident which may arise.
Dr. Adams believed the EPA gave minimum requirements for the company to begin operations at the Wharf.
Nalco Champion Guyana had applied to the EPA for permission to set up a Chemical warehouse facility at the John Fernandes Ltd. Inland Terminal at 4055 Industrial site, Ruimveldt, Georgetown.
The notice was published in local newspapers on July 03, 2019 and evoked protests from residents of Houston Gardens, Shirley Field-Ridley Square, Roxanne Burnham Gardens, Guyhoc Park and Banks Park which are located around the area.
The residents raised concerns in relation to the effects of the chemicals on the environment and contended that the location was not earmarked for industrial purposes but rather residential purposes.
The EPA has not yet completed an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for that location.
Nalco Champion operates storage facilities in communities worldwide and said it a proven track record of safe and sustainable operations.