Monday, September 26, 2022

ExxonMobil in talks with Guyana government to establish financing facility for small business

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ExxonMobil and the Government of Guyana are examining ways in which a financing facility could be established to provide much-needed capital to small and micro enterprise in the South American country.

Speaking at a dinner hosted by the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) on Wednesday evening in Georgetown, Director of the Department of Energy, Dr. Mark Bynoe said the company’s local affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), is pursuing a number of measures to develop local content and build the capacity of Guyanese.

“The EEPGL is in discussion with the Government of Guyana to establish a small and micro-financing facility to assist small indigenous businesses to build their capacity and thus be in a position to access more of the local content being generated in Guyana,” he said.

Small businesses in Guyana have long complaint about not being able to easily access capital, and this has served to limit their ability to expand and build capacity.

Turning his attention to ExxonMobil’s local content efforts, Dr. Bynoe pointed out that more than 1,700 Guyanese, 300 of which are women, are currently working in support of the company’s operations in the country, which is in addition to its assistance to a number of institutions, to help build capacity.

He said the Local Content Policy (LCP) currently being finalised by DE aims to capture more wealth for the country and its people through building capabilities, particularly in the manufacturing sector. The focus of the LCP framework, he pointed out, is to ensure there is added value to the country, in addition to the direct revenues obtained through petroleum production.

“The pool of local vendors utilized in the industry is expanding with 485 being used in the third quarter of this year alone. Furthermore, there has been more than 70 joint ventures established since the formation of the Centre for Local Business Development,” he stated.

ExxonMobil has increased the amount of money it spends on Guyanese suppliers over the years. More than $16 billion Guyana dollars have been spent with over 600 local vendors for the first three quarters of 2019. This amounts to a more than 65 percent increase from the corresponding period in 2018.

Nevertheless, the DE Director pointed out that challenges remain and the process of building local capacity will take time.

Oil production at the 120,000 barrels per day Liza Phase 1 Development offshore Guyana could get underway before the end of the year, ahead of the initial Q1 2020 timeline, ushering in a new era of hope for the small country of just over 750,000 people.

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