GAICO finally opens new US$30M marine facility after project ‘held up’ for years


Guyanese company, GAICO Construction and General Services opened a massive US$30 million marine facility at the Nismes foreshore, West Bank Demerara (WBD) on Saturday, years after the facility was expected to be completed.

The marine facility encompasses a laydown yard capable of handling heavy loads, a concrete wharf and piers.

The project is meant to support the development of Guyana’s massive Gas-to-Energy project at Wales, WBD by allowing international vessels to moor easily. It also facilitates the storage and transportation of heavy building materials.

President Dr. Irfaan Ali, who commissioned the facility on Saturday, emphasised the necessity of the project, particularly since the government is pushing new projects and developments in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara).

First Lady Mrs. Arya Ali and the first son, Zayd cut the ceremonial ribbon making the official commissioning of GAICO’s new facility as President Dr. Irfaan Ali, Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips and other stakeholders look on (Photo: DPI/ January 13, 2024)

Though a momentous occasion for the company, GAICO’s Chief Executive Officer Komal Singh made it known that the project was not developed without its challenges.  He disclosed that the project was stalled for years because the company was not granted the necessary construction permits by the former APNU+AFC government.

“This should have been completed since 2019, but we were not given the permission,” he lamented at the commissioning ceremony.

The actual construction of this project started in February 2022.

Singh, however, credited the Irfaan Ali administration for speedily issuing the permits in 2020 after being elected to government. And he was full of praise for the business-friendly posture of the government.

GAICO’s facility wasn’t the only project that was held back for years, however.

According to President Ali, several projects along the Demerara River worth about $30 billion in total were stalled over a number of years. The Head of State recalled tasking his ministers with clearing that backlog in a matter of weeks.

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