A local consortium, NRG Holdings Incorporated on Monday received its permit from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) paving the way for the commencement a US$600M project at Vreed-en-hoop on the West Bank of Demerara (WBD).
According to a statement from the investors, the facility will occupy some 400 hectares of coastal land and will employ 150-200 persons during construction. Approximately 50-100 persons will be hired for the basic operation and maintenance of the base port facilities in phase one.
With the issuance of the Environmental Permit, NRG Holdings Inc. will now have to submit an Environmental and Social Management Plan to the EPA within four months. The Plan will outline the mitigation measures for any impact that the project will have within the proposed area and surrounding communities.
The permit also guides the hours of construction, as well as the authorisation protocol for use of the land.
The project will include an offshore terminal; dry dock facility; a fabrication yard; offshore components; umbilical preparation and spooling yard; administrative buildings to house offices and modernised logistics centers; warehousing; area for a helipad; a wharf, berths, and a dry dock.
NRG Holdings Inc. is led by Chairman of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) Nicolas Degoo Boyer, who controls National Hardware Guyana Limited; miner, Andron Alphonso of ZRN Investments Inc. and Azruddin Mohamed of Hadi’s World Incorporated.
According to the investors, the facility will also see services previously provided out of Trinidad now being carried out in Guyana, with the local economy benefitting from employment, duties and taxes, ancillary goods and services and capacity-building.
Boyer stated that the project will not service the oil and gas industry only but will also cater to all sectors that require a port facility. He said, “We aim for this project to be transformative, not only for the oil and gas sector, but also for the ordinary person on the street as we seek to reduce shipping costs with this new container terminal.”
Mohamed expressed appreciation that the Government is creating an enabling business environment, allowing for the project to create employment for thousands of Guyanese.
Meanwhile, Secretary of the consortium, Mr. Andron Alphonso said, NRG Holdings Inc. is committed to pursuing this development in a manner that is beneficial to all stakeholders.
“We want to ensure that as we contribute to local content development and provide opportunities for Guyanese in the oil and gas sector, we also do so in a way that is also responsible and sustainable. At the end of it, it must be wholly beneficial not just to us as the investors but to the citizens in the surrounding communities and other stakeholders as well,” he noted.
The Port of Vreed-en-Hoop project, as it is called, is a direct result of opportunities that are arising from the development of the oil and gas sector and its demands. It takes into account the untapped opportunities in terms of services that are required by the sector, but are being provided outside of Guyana’s territory, leading to revenue leaks for the country.