Multimillion-dollar deep water port to reduce cost of exporting rice, other produce from Berbice
By Vishani Ragobeer
The multimillion deep water port located aback the Seawell village in Region Six (East Berbice- Corentyne) will not only provide support services to Guyana’s nascent oil and gas industry but will also have innovative facilities capable of exporting all of the rice produced in Regions Five and Six.
Executive Chairman of CGX Energy Dr. Suresh Narine told the News Room recently that the shore base facility at the deep water port, which will support the offshore oil and gas industry, should be completed by October 2022.
The section of the port that is geared at exporting cargo, including grains such as rice, should be completed in 2023. Already, Dr. Narine said that the company has engaged all the rice millers in Regions Five and Six to gain an understanding of the current level of production.
And based on the current volumes of production, the company’s Chairman is certain that the export facility would be able to export all of the rice produced in the two regions.
But, the facility will not be able to export rice only. Dr. Narine said that the company is eyeing the export of numerous other agricultural cargo including sugar. Importantly, too, he says that the facility will be able to cater for larger shipments of produce due to growth in the regional agricultural sectors.
“… when we build, our footprint has been designed not only with respect to what is but what is expected to be,” the Chairman stated.
The port will not only offer another option for farmers to export their products but it will significantly reduce the cost of transporting the produce to Georgetown.
Transporting produce, such as rice, to Georgetown for export at the ports near the Demerara River incurs a 20 per cent surcharge. That means that farmers exporting their produce incur an extra 20 per cent in costs just to transport their produce to Georgetown via trucks.
“We intend to alleviate it completely,” Dr. Narine said.
CGX will also invest in a silo system that will also reduce the time needed to load the product onto vessels. This will result in a much faster turnaround time, ultimately maximising profits.
In January, Berbicians are expected to be edified on the forthcoming capabilities of the facilities at the port and the opportunities that will be made available to them. It was announced that some 1,000 jobs will be created during the port’s construction phase while there will be about 350 jobs while in operation.
Some US $10 million already has been spent on works done at the deep water port. And Dr. Narine says that by 2023, CGX energy expects to spend about US$80 million on the development of the facility.
In addition to the expenditure from CGX, Dr. Narine alluded to partnerships the company has been forging with other companies. Those partnerships are expected to yield other developments at the site, costing millions more.