Mexican investors eye oil refinery, new CJIA terminal & other investments

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Three Mexican investors and their Guyanese partner are interested in massive infrastructure projects in Guyana including building an oil refinery, a new terminal at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) and potentially paving the Linden to Lethem Road.

The investors, led by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Grupo Industrial Omega, Andres Holzer, met with President Dr. Irfaan Ali and a team of government ministers and officials on Saturday at the Office of the President.

The other investors were CEO of Grupo TCO Federico Martinez, CEO of Cometa Javier Vazquez and local partner and CEO of Star 10 Dean Hassan.

A press release from the Office of the President related that the investment team spoke about their ability to construct affordable, modern concrete houses and prefabricated hospitals. It is expected that they will engage in further discussions with the leadership of the Housing Ministry.

President Irfaan Ali and his team meet with the investors from Mexico (Office of the President/December 4, 2021)

Importantly, though, the press release highlighted that the investors had a keen interest in Guyana’s oil and gas industry. The investors, reportedly, signalled an interest in constructing an oil refinery in Guyana.

Earlier this year, President Ali said his government supports the establishment of an oil refinery since it will “add value” to the oil and gas sector. He, however, emphasised that such an investment would have to be private sector-led instead of it being an investment from the government.

He also indicated that the government had already received proposals from some members of the private sector. He did not provide any further details. The Holzer-led Mexican investment team would be among the more recent private sector players interested in this investment, geared at serving Guyana’s nascent, but attractive, oil and gas industry.

Meanwhile, the press release also stated that the group of investors indicated that they have the resources to pave the Linden to Lethem Road. There is interest in this project because it will enhance travel and investments between Guyana and Brazil.

While the President, reportedly, listened to their ideas, he also talked up the government’s plan to establish a secondary city called Silica City. It was only on Friday that he announced that the government has already received overwhelming interest from potential investors.

The Head-of-State also asked the investors about their potential to build the Corentyne River bridge, which will link Guyana and Suriname by road. He reminded them that the planned bridge will use the design, finance, build and own model.

Through this model, a single contractor with the necessary expertise will engage in all the required works (design, construction, operation and maintenance of a facility for a specified period) before handing it over to the client. This model was agreed upon by the governments of Guyana and Suriname.

President Ali also reportedly told Holzer of his desire to see Guyanese products sold in duty-free shops in airports worldwide. It is important to note that the businessman manages duty-free stores in 64 countries across the globe. And the Office of the President reported that these discussions will continue between Holzer and the EO of the CJIA corporation Ramesh Ghir.

This meeting was also attended by Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh; Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony; Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha; Minister of Foreign Affairs Hugh Todd; Minister of Natural Resources Vickram Bharrat and Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water Susan Rodrigues.

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