As Blairmont Estate, West Coast Berbice, prepares for the first crop harvest for 2021, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), Sasenarine Singh, says his mission is to bring the industry to viability.
The production target for 2021 is 97,420 metric tonnes of sugar; GuySuCo is anticipating that some 42,609 metric tonnes will be produced during the first crop. That season is scheduled to start by February 20 and conclude mid-May.
Since it is under new management, it is an opportunity to re-engineer the estate and drive the outcome, in accordance with the five-year plan. Singh shared with the members of the media on Monday, that the Strategic Sub-Committee of GuySuCo’s senior leadership crafted a strategic plan in January 2021, geared to ensuring the industry gains massive income.
“The foundation of our plan basically rests on increasing our revenue stream, attacking our non-value-added cost, but more importantly ensuring that we deliver on the manifesto promise of His Excellency, the President,” Singh said.
Singh explained that the mission of GuySuCo is to push value-added sugar both locally and in the overseas markets. To this end, they are about to expand the operations at the Enmore and Blairmont Packaging Plants.
“GuySuCo will be spending about $600 million on these projects to ensure that we put more lines in,” Singh said.
He further went on the state that the corporation will be looking to build an inventory to guarantee the supply of Demerara Gold can meet the demand.
Meanwhile, several managers of the Blairmont Estate disclosed to the media that millions of dollars were spent on maintenance at the location. These mandatory maintenances included repairs of fans of the boilers in order to increase airflow to support combustion. Furnace repairs are also expected to improve airflow, while rehab works on carrier chains are expected to reduce factory downtime.
The News Room understands these maintenances will increase efficiency. Presently, workers are installing three re-shell rollers at a cost of $21 million, and this is expected to enhance the milling operations and improve sugar recovery.
Additionally, work on the crystallisers is expected to improve the sugar quality, grain size, sugar recovery, and reduction in boiling house congestion. As further improvements are being made, these were just a few of the maintenance needed.
Singh complained about the deplorable state he met the estate and the billions of dollars that were lost in equipment. Nevertheless, he is very confident with the team he presently has to move the estate forward.
“…this turnaround is not a marathon, it will require careful and deliberate work plan and we have the five-year strategic plan. At all levels we have been encouraging and re-training our staff to be very cost-conscious and be very focused on the market,” Singh said.
In encouraging his team, Singh reminds them that, “you are our number one salesman. Go out there, in addition to your day job, also sell our packaged sugar and our bag sugar. Put the Demerara Gold and the Enmore Crystal brand on the market.”
In moving forward to a prosperous sugar industry, Singh encouraged all able-bodied ex-sugar workers to re-join the sugar industry as “the targets are real, the targets are achievable, and they have never been this achievable in any of the last five years.”