Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Guyana gov’t exploring options for oil refinery in Berbice county

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Investors have signaled their interest in constructing an oil refinery in Guyana’s Region Six with the government already receiving six proposals to consider, according to the President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali.

“We have more than six proposals for refineries, small refineries, here in Region Six, and we have exploration going on that can catalyse the growth here,” the Head of State said at a public meeting on Monday.

Addressing residents of the county during an outreach in New Amsterdam, the President highlighted that the government is creating a “macro vision” to transform Region Six, bringing with that transformation, new opportunities and jobs for the people.

He said they will be empowered to participate in a greater way in the economy.

The Guyana government had no plans to build a refinery for oil as late as last year, according to President Ali when the question was asked. But he did note receiving proposals to build refineries from the private sector and said government would support a private refinery.

Setting up oil refinery in Guyana even less viable now from when study first done

Explaining why it is cautious of taking on such a venture, Minister of Natural Resources Vickram Bharrat said last year that the government did not want to suffer as Trinidad and Tobago did.

For years, Trinidad found itself importing increasing volumes of crude to support its refinery operations since domestic supply was on the decline. It was not sustainable. So Petrotrin, the state-owned refinery, was closed in 2018.

Closure of ailing refinery will save Trinidad from financial disaster – Prime Minister

Recently, the topic re-emerged when local economist Richard Rambarran urged Guyana to consider establishing a modular refinery to meet at least its domestic consumption, as oil prices skyrocketed because of the war in Ukraine. The keyword is modular – government would have the flexibility of investing less with this kind of refinery, making it purpose-built for domestic demand.

Outspoken attorney, Christopher Ram also floated the idea of establishing a refinery in Guyana during a recent OilNOW webinar.

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