GO-Invest Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Peter Ramsaroop says Guyana’s oil refinery is the latest step to increase investments in manufacturing and sustain the nation in the long term.
Guyana’s oil boom and massive projected economic growth are expected to have a domino effect on development across multiple sectors. Ramsaroop spoke on the value of an oil refinery for Guyana.
President Irfaan Ali recently announced that Expressions of Interest (EOI) would be put out soon to the private sector for the construction of a small modular refinery to satisfy local fuel demand.
“Just study what is happening in the world today with Ukraine, the war in Russia, how fuel prices have gone up. I think it is very important for Guyana to look at how it can sustain itself long-term. I think the refinery is just one more step of us looking at our needs in the near future. Similar to the gas coming to shore, reducing the energy power by 50%, that will increase significant investments in manufacturing.”
The gas-to-shore project involves building a pipeline to bring to land up to 140 million cubic feet per day of the associated gas from Exxon’s oil output in the Stabroek block, mostly for generating up to 300 megawatts of electricity.
With a fast-growing economy, power demand in Guyana is forecast to triple in the next five years. The project is expected to potentially decrease the number of blackouts and result in a more reliable power supply across the country.
“If you look at the fuel aspects and combine that with all the integrated energy solutions with hydro and wind, then I think Guyana is poised that our future has arrived and we are ready to ensure that we sustain our nation long term.”
With much global focus on environmental sustainability and reducing the carbon footprint, Ramsaroop hopes newer technologies will render such a facility capable of minimising emissions.
As far as the end of 2021, President Ali has stated there were no plans to build a local refinery. Since then, however, multiple investors have signalled interest leading the government to a stance of supporting a private refinery.
Meanwhile, Minister of Natural Resources Vickram Bharrat said last year that the government was exercising caution in such ventures after witnessing Trinidad and Tobago’s dilemma.
Their state-owned refinery, Petrotrin, closed in 2018 because it could not support the refinery when domestic supply declined.
Guyana’s 30,000-barrel refinery, according to Ramsaroop, does not aim to be a “net exporter” but instead supports local consumption and possibly nearby regions.
Ramsaroop also hinted that there might be expressions of interest in the near future for the enhancement of eco-tourism.
The government has also signalled intentions to develop further popular tourist spots across the three counties, such as; the blue lake in Linden.