Jobs, support services with US $30M ‘West Bank’ shore base facility


By Vishani Ragobeer

Massive developments, including the new gas-to-energy project, are carded for Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) and GAICO Construction, a local company, aims to capitalise on these developments through its new shore base facility.

Construction started at the Nismes, West Bank Demerara (WBD) site on Monday about five years after some of the building materials had been brought to the site. For years, GAICO had been awaiting the requisite construction permits.

Komal Singh, GAICO’s Managing Director (Photo: News Room/ Reaaz Mathura/ February 14, 2022)

“The first phase will be completed in July 2022,” Komal Singh, GAICO’s Managing Director, told the News Room on Monday.

At the end of that first phase, a laydown yard, a one-finger-pier and the wharf front will be completed at the Nismes foreshore area. In simple terms, Singh explained that the facility will allow materials and equipment to be offloaded from vessels and stored until they are ready for further transport.

And this is particularly useful, the Managing Director believes since new infrastructural work in Region Three will increase the demand for construction material produced outside of the region. By allowing ships to moor at the WBD wharf area, supplies headed to Region Three could be discharged straightaway – reducing transportation costs.

Beyond this, however, this facility is strategically positioned to support the oil and gas sector directly- particularly the forthcoming gas-to-energy project in nearby Wales. Here, it is expected that international vessels can moor and unmoor easily.

Some of the concrete piles that were brought to the facility since 2017 (Photo: News Room/ Reaaz Mathura/ February 14, 2022)

According to a project summary submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this facility will be developed three kilometres from the current Demerara Harbour Bridge and will span some four acres of land, with full access to the Demerara River.

During the second phase of the project, the facility should feature three finger piers and a roll-on, roll off-ramp. In total, Singh said that the project is expected to cost approximately US$30 million or about GY $6 billion.

“In business, you need to take some level of gamble but we do calculated investments so we kinda manage our risks,” Singh said, expressing his optimism that the developments planned for Region Three would make GAICO’s massive investment worthwhile.


Even with the expected gains, however, Singh explained that the company is keenly focused on generating employment for residents of the region – particularly those affected by the closure of the Wales sugar estate at the end of 2016.

During the construction phase, at least 60 individuals will be employed. Afterwards, when the facility is operationalised, between 60 to 80 individuals could be employed on a permanent basis.

Some of the machinery at the Nismes site for the construction works (Photo: News Room/ Reaaz Mathura/ February 14, 2022)

A fabrication workshop will also be constructed at the facility, able to bend, cut and mould steel structures. This workshop, importantly, will be used as a training facility for Region Three youth interested in becoming certified in technical competencies.

“Over the last couple of years, we have been very passionate about creating employment and building capacity locally,” Singh highlighted.

The entire project, with its various components, should be completed by 2023. By this time, scores of people should become employed.

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