For the first time, local organisers will be fully spearheading an energy conference that is set for September 28-29, 2021, and that event—the Guyana Energy Conference and Exhibition (GEC-X ’21)—will place keen focus on Guyana’s energy mix as a means of transforming the South American country.
Organisers pointed out at the launch on Monday, February 22, that GEC-X ‘21 brings to bear the importance of local content development, local participation and local companies working together, not only in the development of the oil and gas industry but in other industries as well.
Guyana, it was highlighted, is aiming for transformational development, in keeping with its low carbon aspirations.
“This conference is called ‘Energy Conference’ because there is a well-held view that our growth, development and transformation as a nation in the 21st century lie with our ability to produce and utilise cheaper energy, cleaner energy and ultimately renewable sources of energy,” said Christopher Chapwanya, CEO of Sagacity Inc., one of the partnering companies.
Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest), Dr. Peter Ramsaroop noted that Guyana is at a critical point of development, adding that private sector partnerships are important to making Guyana profitable for all Guyanese. He said that the conference will bring together a mix of local businesses and foreign investors. He stressed that Guyana is looking to develop local content and facilitate the transfer of knowledge. One of the expectations, he said, is for foreign investors to expand into Guyana and invest in sectors beyond oil and gas.
“This conference…brings together, again, the foreign and local investors, it talks about the initiative [and] the Private Sector being the engine of growth…,” Dr. Ramsaroop said
President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Nicholas Deygoo-Boyer, in his address at the launch, stressed that the Chamber is a key partner to the country’s development. He stated, “The purpose of this conference is to foster conversation in the energy sector of Guyana from discussions in the extraction of crude oil to the importation of heavy fuel oils, or HFOs, and our current usage of that to produce electricity, as well as the efficient distribution of the electricity so that reliable supply is not something, we dream of but is more something that we are accustomed to.”
Deygoo-Boyer pointed out the decades-old challenges Guyana has faced with expensive and unreliable power supply which has stymied the country’s growth and development.
“Too long have Guyanese businesses been limited by the cost of Energy – resulting from developmental and administrative challenges; now with a catalyst such as upstream oil & gas, we can harness this new industry to create a ripple effect throughout our entire Energy Sector and possibly force a new wave of industrialization in our economy,” he said.
President of ExxonMobil Guyana, Alistair Routledge, said the company is pleased to be supporting GEC-X ‘21. He pointed out that the conference will provide a useful opportunity for ExxonMobil to further inform and educate persons about its operations.
“Ours is an industry that is highly technical. It’s different for the country and so we have an onus on us to make sure people get to understand what our industry is about,” he said, adding, “So, this is a great opportunity in this conference for us to open the doors as part of our ongoing transparency efforts and to help connect people to our industry but also our industry to the other imperatives and priorities for the country and make sure that together we are collaborating in driving everything forward.”
Minister of Natural Resources, Mr. Vickram Bharrat, said the conference is aligned with the government’s focus on pursuing and developing an energy mix over the next few years. “It is refreshing to have a conference that will be focusing on the energy mix as our government has been advocating. Our President will be speaking a lot about our energy mix in Guyana and it is not only a conference that is confined to oil and gas as we have seen over the years.”
He pointed out that the cost of power generation has been “a great hindrance” to Guyana’s development and that is why government is moving to address this as early as possible.
“With cheap power comes so many opportunities and investments that would come to our shores in Guyana and which we are preparing for presently. If you look at our budget 2021; it actually lays that foundation for what is to come over the next four years,” the natural resources minister stated.
To register your interest in GEC-X ‘21, visit www.gecx.gy