Guyana Energy Conference & Supply Chain Expo to be catalyst for further local content development – Minister Bharrat

  • Kiana Wilburg
  • May 26, 2024
  • Articles

The Guyana Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo, scheduled to be held at the Marriott Hotel from February 19-22, is poised to play a crucial role in promoting strategic partnerships between local and international businesses while also fostering economic development, organisers have said.

Themed “Fuelling transformation and modernisation,” this event is rapidly emerging as a leading conference in the hemisphere, while emphasising the significance of local participation in the oil sector. Specifically making these points yesterday was Natural Resources Minister, Vickram Bharrat.

He was part of a press briefing at the Marriott Hotel which shared updates on preparations thus far for the event. Bharrat highlighted the government’s support, noting that it aligns with its vision for local leadership in the nation’s oil sector development. “…Since taking office in August 2020, we have emphasized the need to create more opportunities for Guyanese and their businesses. As a new oil-producing country, we took a significant step towards enacting Local Content legislation. This move is substantial, considering that many countries, some with decades or even centuries of production experience, are still at the policy stage without concrete legislation,” the minister said.

With the establishment of Guyana’s Local Content Secretariat, Bharrat noted that the country has successfully retained millions of dollars locally. Reports from contractors and licensees to the Secretariat show that there were 3,938 local hires since January 2022 with 785 in the first six months of 2023 alone. The hires span various roles, including 824 as plant and machine operators, 1,203 professionals, and 485 technicians, totaling over 6,000 Guyanese employed in the sector. Furthermore, annual plans from these groups amount to an estimated US$721 million in procurement of goods and services and training for 2023, surpassing the previous year’s US$700 million.

“The implementation of the Local Content Law has allowed us to foster numerous joint ventures and partnerships and…the Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo will build on this,” Minister Bharrat added. Guyana’s Chief Investment Officer at the Guyana Office for Investment (Go-Invest), Dr. Peter Ramsaroop emphasized the conference’s role in showcasing partnership opportunities in the oil and non-oil sectors. “From the theme of the conference alone and given its expanded focus of a supply chain expo, it is clear that we are a regional powerhouse with much to offer,” he said, pointing out Guyana’s use of oil resources to propel growth in agriculture and manufacturing.

Head of the Private Sector Commission, Komal Singh, also underlined the importance of developing a robust logistics hub to support the oil sector, particularly the gas-to-energy project when it comes on stream in 2025. As for CEO of the Guyana Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo, Kurt Baboolall, he announced the participation of 30 sponsors, including major industry players like ExxonMobil and Hess. He also noted that there are 200 exhibitors registered thus far, with 21 countries expected to be represented at the event.

The conference will also feature over 66 distinguished speakers, including world leaders such as Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani; Suriname’s President, Chandrikapersad Santokhi; Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister, Keith Rowley; and The Bahamas’ Prime Minister, Phillip Davis. Guyana will be represented by President Dr. Irfaan Ali, Vice-President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, Minister Vickram Bharrat, Senior Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh, and Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips.

The CEO also highlighted the participation of Pulitzer prize-winning author and energy expert, Daniel Yergin.

Importantly, the conference will include panel discussions on various topics such as “Shaping the Future of Energy: Trends and Challenges,” “Balancing Economic Growth with Environmental Sustainability,” “Building Resilient Supply Chains in the Face of Disruptions,” and “Developing a Workforce for the Future.” Another focus will be on “Investing in Guyana: Growing Opportunities.” Updates from the oil and gas sector will be provided by figures like Alistair Routledge of ExxonMobil Guyana, Professor Suresh Narine from CGX Energy Inc, and Clarence Nelson Drake of LINDSAYCA Inc Petronas Staatsolie.