Banks DIH a model of innovation and adaptability says Minister Harmon- at opening of $110M vehicle workshop

DPI, GUYANA, Saturday, April 7, 2018

Banks DIH Limited was today lauded by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, as a model of innovation, enterprise and adaptability in line with the Government’s Green State trajectory, setting the pace for the rest of the private sector.

The minister was speaking at the opening ceremony of the company’s $110M vehicle workshop located at the Demerara River Front Property, obliquely opposite Thirst Park, Georgetown.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon cuts the ribbon to mark the official opening of the BANKS DIH Vehicle Workshop, while Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, Chairman of BANKS DIH, Clifford Reis and Co-Managing Director, George McDonald watch on.

The government, Minister Harmon underscored, has undertaken a new economic model guided by the Green State Development Strategy (GSDS), which has as its core principles the reorienting and diversification of the economy and the reduction of reliance on traditional sectors.

The GSDS strives “to open up new and sustainable income and investment opportunities through value-added endeavours and a high growth sector,” he noted.
The Strategy, the State Minister said, will set the foundation for green, inclusive, economic and social growth and create the framework for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and related targets.

The GSDS will also provide the basis for a prosperous and secure future for all Guyanese, he assured.

Further, Minister Harmon said, Banks DIH has shown its ability to adapt to the changing business environment over the years, making reference to the company’s recent announcement that for the new financial year there will be further investment in solar energy, based on a tested innovation introduced in 2017 at the Main Street, Georgetown Qik Serve Restaurant.

Banks DIH made this disclosure at its 62nd Annual General Meeting hosted at Thirst Park on January 27, 2018.

According to the minister, “this move is yet another trailblazing initiative of Banks, because of its size and scope within the private sector”.

The property, which now houses the vehicle workshop, was acquired by Banks DIH in 2001 and was originally the Plant Maintenance Division of the then Ministry of Public Works.

It was used to repair and maintain heavy equipment and service vehicles of all government ministries and Minister Harmon expressed confidence that the value of such a facility to the government will not be lost under the company’s management.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, Chairman of BANKS DIH, Clifford Reis and another member of Staff in conversation today during a tour of the new vehicle workshop.

Minister Harmon applauded the fact that approximately 100 persons are employed at the site and are provided with training in the field of engineering at the University of Guyana (UG) and the Government Technical Institute (GTI), compliments of the company.

Meantime, Co-Managing Director of Banks DIH, George McDonald, in his address, said in recognition that clean and reliable power generation was a critical input to the company’s production facilities, and in its efforts to produce the best quality products, the company in 2004 embarked on the installation of specialised generation facilities.

Banks DIH as a partner of the Coca-Cola company was also required to meet the ISO 9001 Standards or First World Production standards, McDonald related.

The vehicle workshop is presently equipped with 10 Megawatts Diesel and Bunker Sea generating plants, which means the facility is operating independently of the National Grid.

“We are also actively pursuing the development of alternative energy to reduce the dependency on the use of fossil fuels in the long-term as we work to reduce the carbon footprint of our operations,” McDonald pointed out.

The company was commended by the State Minister for this undertaking which is in line with the Government’s green pathway.

The Vehicle Workshop measures 36,000 sq. ft and, according to the Co-Manager, made logistical sense for the company to invest since the Thirst Park ran out of space.

The facility was declared officially opened with the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon by Minister Harmon.

Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Power and Light Company (GPL), Albert Gordon, Chairman of Banks DIH Clifford Reis, members of the Private Sector Commission (PSC), the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) and the Diplomatic Community were in attendance.

Co-Managing Director, BANKS DIH, George McDonald.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.

 

A section of the BANK DIH new vehicle workshop.

A section of the BANK DIH new vehicle workshop.

 

By: Stacy Carmichael

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