Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Gas-to-shore could transform Guyana into regional manufacturing powerhouse

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The plans by the Guyana government to land a natural gas pipeline at Wales, on the West Bank of Demerara (WBD) is expected to have a transformational effect on manufacturing, and result in the sector becoming more competitive regionally. This is according to President Irfaan Ali, who said this will be one of the spin-off benefits of the oil and gas industry.

Recently, the President said that Region Three, in which Wales, WBD is located, will see massive developments that will create significant opportunities and a trickle-down effect. He was referring to plans for the establishment of a natural gas power generation facility.

“You will see development of agro-facilities, agro-processing facilities…,” he had stated. Gas-to-shore, he continued, would result in industrialization. “We have a national energy plan that is looking at reducing the cost of energy by almost 50 to 60 percent, making Guyana now a competitive area for manufacturing within the region for packaging and processing and integrating the opportunities in all these islands and communities with that national energy plan.”

This view coincides with calls from the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA), for the high cost of electricity to be addressed.

“Guyana is on the cusp of transformation never seen before. Growth is expected to quadruple and immense opportunities open up for all Guyanese. As a local private sector, we need to not look towards only exponential growth but organise ourselves for evolutionary growth so that we can be competitive,” President of the GMSA, Shyam Nokta recently said.

Nokta pointed out that the high cost of energy has always been a critical barrier to the expansion of manufacturing and value addition.

“The GMSA is encouraged by Government’s proactive steps towards addressing reliable and stable electricity,” he said, emphasising that the manufacturing body looks forward to the roll out of natural gas-generated energy.

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