The Centre for Local Business Development on Monday opened its Virtual Guyana Supplier Forum which is geared towards increasing the participation of local companies in the oil and gas supply chain.
Addressing the opening of the Forum, which was held virtually, President of ExxonMobil Guyana, Alistair Routledge told participants that, so far, hundreds of Guyanese companies have benefited from over $77 billion in contracts.
The event is sponsored by ExxonMobil Guyana, Hess and CNOOC – co-venturers at the Stabroek block.
“I’m delighted with the progress that we’ve made to date—spending over $77.5 billion with local companies, over 800 local Guyanese companies,” Routledge said.
He added, “But this is only the start and this is the opportunity for you and others to continue to grow and become part of the development of Guyana’s oil and gas businesses.”
Routledge emphasised that for ExxonMobil – operator of the Stabroek Block – local participation is crucial, and as such, the Supplier Forum—which is being sponsored by ExxonMobil and its partners—plays an important role in creating linkages between the company, its prime contractors and local businesses. “This is an opportunity for us to explain our business, to show you the progress that we’re making, and for you to engage us and our prime contractors as we bring forward more work for the future.”
Meanwhile, Director of the Centre, Dr. Natasha Gaskin-Peters noted that as Guyana’s leading source of oil and gas business information, professional development and networking, the Centre’s role is to build and expand the competitiveness of Guyanese companies. This, she said, is being executed through the ISO 9001 and HSSE Management Systems Mentorship Programme, as well as other seminars and business courses.
“Since opening in July 2017, we have registered over 4700 businesses on our Supplier Registration Portal and conducted over 3000 oil and gas seminars. We have also cultivated over 600 oil and gas vendors and delivered Health, Safety, Security and Environment programmes to over 220 businesses,” she stated.
The virtual forum, she added, is in keeping with their goal to ensure that Guyanese suppliers receive valuable oil and gas information in advance to inform business and investment decisions while ensuring the health/safety of stakeholders is preserved from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“Over the course of the next five days, a great deal of important scheduling, procurement and tender information will be shared with you—the local suppliers. The overarching goal of the forum is to provide you with valuable insight to existing and long-term activities directly from ExxonMobil and its leading prime contractors,” Dr. Gaskin-Peters told the participants.
Chairman of the Private Sector Commission, Nicholas Deygoo-Boyer in his address, stressed that access to regional and global opportunities is important to local businesses. “…This forum aims to provide the business community with access to existing and upcoming opportunities within Guyana’s rapidly expanding energy sector. As the largest business support organisation in Guyana, the Private Sector Commission recognises that such a venture is much needed as Guyana prepares to enter a new age of development…”
The provision of information on the role of prime contractors, prudent processes, key contacts and upcoming tenders will enable businesses to equip themselves with the tools needed to accelerate their performance and improve competitiveness, Boyer added. “Further, with Guyana working to develop a robust local content policy, this will allow for greater Guyanese participation as our economy develops.”
Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, in his statement lauded the organisers of the event. He recognised that the oil and gas sector requires improved standards and procedures.
“Given that the overarching goal of this forum is to provide Guyanese businesses access and opportunities that exist and are upcoming in order to participate and prepare in the oil and gas sector, then it is pertinent that we have a proper business policy to address any gaps by identifying the relevant internal factors,” he stated.
In this regard, one of the main expectations of this event is to explore the impact and opportunities of these factors on the sustainability strategies of four key supply chain functions. “These are supplier management, production management, product stewardship and logistics management,” he stated.
Mr. Bharrat pointed out that companies are required to educate and train suppliers, later noting that the Centre is a good initiative that allows for the enhancement of the capacity and promotion of the participation of local businesses in the oil and gas industry.