GuySuCo’s assets still being evaluated by PwC – Minister Harmon

DPI, GUYANA, Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, providing an update recently on developments in the sugar industry and the operations of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), said PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is still conducting an evaluation of the sugar company’s assets.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.

The company, he noted, is advising the government about various management models.

Reference was made to the agreement with the Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) for the operationalisation of the Enmore Estate primarily to provide molasses for the rum company’s operations and to a lesser extent for cosmetic purposes.

Minister Harmon reminded of the administration’s plan of bringing the remaining three estates up to the highest level possible, while the others will be divested for value-added and other uses.

Financing, Minister Harmon said, is available for keeping the other estates functional so that companies, which have expressed interest, can see what they are investing in.

“If you were to get the best price for the estates to be divested, then it’s best they come to a certain state of operationalisation, so that is taking place,” he noted.

It was also agreed that the remaining three estates will have a specific target of some 150 thousand tonnes of sugar annually.

The State Minister said the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) and its Special Purposes Unit (SPU) have superintendence over these matters and were able to leverage from the bank, a grant in the sum of $30M.

This, he highlighted, will help in making the three estates under GuySuCo fully functional, “so that the breakdowns and so on that we are having, those will be things of the past”.

In addition, some of the leftover canes at the closed estates were harvested and taken to the estates that are grinding to prevent loss, Minister Harmon said.

GuySuCo consists of three estates and three sugar factories. The estates are Blairmont, West Bank Berbice, Albion-Rose Hall in East Berbice, and the Uitvlugt-Wales Estate in West Demerara.

In the White Paper on Sugar presented to the National Assembly, the proposed courses of action to salvage the ailing industry included to amalgamate Wales Estate with Uitvlugt Estate and reassign its cane to the Uitvlugt factory, since the estate was operating at 50 percent capacity.

The plan was to divest GuySuCo of the Skeldon Estate and have the estates of Albion and Rose Hall amalgamated and the factory at Rose Hall closed.

 

By: Stacy Carmichael

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