Few serious, majority carpetbagging companies submit proposals for oil refineries – Jagdeo
With the Government of Guyana inviting proposals for the private construction of a local oil refinery, Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo has highlighted that a number of companies that expressed interest are carpetbagging.
“A lot of carpetbagging companies that have come here and said they can do refineries they want an MoU [Memorandum of Understanding] from the government and they go and talk. One said they could do 10,000 jobs in Berbice, it’s all nonsense, a lot of it doesn’t make sense,” Jagdeo said during a press conference on Thursday.
The Vice President emphasised that the government is not looking to become the refinery capital of the region, however, it is interested in establishing a local refinery for energy security and will facilitate a private bidder setting up a refinery.
“We don’t want to own it in government … we’re only selling 30,000 barrels of crude per day to one person, a bidder that is more serious about building the refinery,” Jagdeo said.
He noted that in addition to selling 30,000 barrels of oil to the refinery, the government will also provide the land for the construction and will provide tax concessions as well.
The government will also not regulate the sale of fuel and will allow the refinery to sell its fuel to any buyer at competitive prices, however, in the case of an emergency sale will be restricted to domestic consumption for energy security.
“In crises, we can easily restrict the export and sell it for domestic consumption because with supply chain structures we can have any set of problems in the future we’re not taking any risks for the future,” Jagdeo said.
“This is for national security purposes to have energy security at home, we don’t run out of gas or diesel or anything like we’re pursuing this refinery but not with government funds and through an open process,” he said.
Jagdeo noted that the government is not interested in a large refinery as the administration has considered the possibility of supply diminishing and the climate impact of a large refinery.
“We said we’re not going to do a large refinery in the country because if we say go to 10,000 barrels a day that means almost all of the government oil goes … to that company, they control our oil practically,” Jagdeo said.
“And secondly, refineries are known to bring a lot of greenhouse gas emissions,” he added.
The government on Wednesday issued a statement distancing itself from an oil company that issued a press release noting that funds were secured for a Berbice-based refinery.
A press release issued by Delta Energy and Petroleum Company (DEPCO) was published in the November 02, 2022 edition of the Guyana Chronicle headlined “10,000 jobs lined up as funds secured for Berbice-based oil refineries.”
However, the government’s statement said it “has had no discussion with DEPCO, and no permissions or commitments have been given by the Government to the said company in relation to the development of oil refineries.”
The statement also noted that the government has received several unsolicited proposals for the refinery however companies must respond to the published Request for Proposal (RFP) to be considered.
The response to the RFP will be used to determine a capable partner that will be selected to work with the government to complete the project based on a number of criteria.