Guyana’s economic future dependent on improved infrastructure- Minister Patterson

DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, December 07, 2017

Maintaining the development of Guyana’s infrastructure shapes the economic fortune and future of the country, Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson said today in the National Assembly.

Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson.

The Minister was at the time reiterating the government’s commitment to the rehabilitation and construction of the country’s roads and bridges and the upgrading of the energy sector, noting that these are all important facets that can spur economic growth and development in Guyana.

Recognising this, the government has provided the sum of $32B or 12 percent of the $267.1B national budget for the infrastructure ministry to carry out its 2018 work programme.

In keeping with its mandate of improving connectivity and bridging the gap between the hinterland and coastland, from that amount $1.5B will go towards road rehabilitation in Regions One, Seven, Eight, Nine and 10 as well as the completion of all roll- over projects, a promise being fulfilled, Minister Patterson stressed.

The minister noted that these works “will ensure easy accessibility to the locations of the extractive industries in the regions and would facilitate the movement of people and goods to and from those locations.”

The Ministry of Public Infrastructure through the Works Service Group (WSG) has been constructing /rehabilitating roads in Regions Two, Three, Four, Five and Six. Thus, budget 2018 has made provision of $130M for continued works on public and main access roads, $1,2B for miscellaneous and $800M for urban roads.

This will see works on the Cheddi Jagan International Airport roundabout, rehabilitation of the Soesdyke/Linden Highway and repairs to the culvert at Vlissengen Road and Carifesta Avenue.

According to Minister Patterson in the new towns of Bartica, Lethem and Mabaruma, all major access roads are being upgraded and in Region Six works are being executed in the towns of New Amsterdam, Rose Hall and Corriverton.

Further, the Minister who is also responsible for the energy sector reiterated government’s commitment towards making energy use clean and sustainable. He said that “there is tremendous focus in solar, hydropower and other renewable and alternative resources, as well as energy efficient technologies, this commitment is seen through the Green State Development Strategy.”

Minister Patterson highlighted that there are several plans for the energy sector in 2018. One such plan is the operationalisation of Guyana’s first ever solar farm in Mabaruma in 2018.

He added that “feasibility studies for the establishment of solar farms in Port Kaituma and Bartica have commenced while, government buildings, including ministries, schools, and health centres, are being outfitted with solar photovoltaic panels, to reduce Government’s dependence on the national grid.” Budget 2018 has allocated $500M for renewable energy projects which will embrace the Government’s “green” vision.

Turning his attention to Guyana’s main source of energy, the Guyana Power and Light Incorporation (GPL), Minister Patterson outlined that in 2018, $2B has been provided for the power company. He said it is proposed that before the third quarter of 2018, the facilities at Anna Regina, Bartica and Canefield are completed and commissioned.

The Minister also promised that by December 16, 2017, all major overhauls of the power plants shall be completed, thereby ensuring these are fully operational and available for the Christmas season.

Other major projects to be undertaken by the ministry in 2018 include new Demerara River Crossing, Sheriff Street/ Mandela Road Corridor, East Coast Demerara Highway, feasibility studies and detailed designs for first phase of Linden/Lethem Road, feasibility and Design study of bridge at Kurupukari and completion of Airport Extension Project among others.

 

By: Ranetta La Fleur

 

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