He further stated that the facility could later provide a “foothold” for other industrial manufacturing opportunities that would result from its oil drilling activities. The facility, he said, “could also be used to serve as an import, export port for the Berbice area”.

The business community has applauded CGX for its initiative. After years of discussions and feasibility studies, a deep-water harbour in Guyana is finally materializing. The Berbice Chamber of Commerce welcomes the project saying Guyana is ready for the significant transformation that would accompany a deep-water harbour.

CGX Energy Inc. foresight into the construction of the deepwater harbour was intended to cut costs associated with utilizing the Port of Chaguaramas, Trinidad where the primary source of raw materials for oil exploration companies are sourced. The Trinidadian port is located 450 miles away from Guyana.

Apart from the benefits derived from utilizing the deep-water harbor for CGX Energy Inc.’s operations in Guyana, the company is strategically positioning itself to reap the windfalls associated with other oil exploration companies utilizing CGX’s port, which will be more feasible than the neighbouring Port of Chaguaramas, Trinidad.

CGX Energy Inc. is engaging oil and gas exploration companies, among other “venture partners” in pursuit of completing the deep-water harbour. A deep-water port would allow for larger ships to transit Guyana’s waters more readily. As it is, Guyana is at a competitive disadvantage by not having the infrastructure to accommodate larger shipping vessels.

The Shipping Association of Guyana (SAG) has repeatedly complained that the shallow draught of the Demerara River has been reducing the overall volume of imports and exports and driving up costs.

At a GSMA luncheon in July 2015, the Chairman of the Private Sector Commission (PSC), Mr. Norman McLean said that the inability of the Georgetown Harbour to accommodate larger vessels is hampering trade and investment in Guyana. Mr. McLean also stated that facilities similar to the one at the mouth of the Berbice River are needed in Georgetown. Apart from the economic benefits of import and export of commodities via a deep-water harbour, there is a strong

correlation in the increase in tourism in Caribbean territories with deep-water ports. 

Cruise ships are easily accommodated in Barbados, Antigua, Bahamas and St. Lucia because of their deep-water harbours. Revenue generated from tourists, who are almost always willing to spend, has impacted the tourism sector and economies of these Caribbean nations.

Berbice would benefit from an influx of tourists as a result of the deep-water port. Also, businesses that export from Regions Five and Six will reduce their transportation cost by getting their produce to foreign markets in a timely manner. 

Industry experts agree that trade between land locked northern Brazil and Guyana can increase tenfold with a deep-water harbour. Guyana and Berbice are poised to become the gateway for business into and out of Brazil. Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva pledged support for several infrastructural projects in Guyana, including a deep-water harbour. 

In December 2010, Suriname signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with two companies for US$6 billion worth of projects, including a deep-water harbour and a road and
railroad to Brazil which could challenge Guyana’s bid to become the gateway for business into and out of Brazil.

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Article published in Invest Guyana Magazine 2015……

 

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