Minister Harmon meets with World Bank representatives
Georgetown, Guyana – (July 20, 2018) Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, today, met with Mr. Pierre Nadji, Senior Country Officer, Guyana, Suriname and Belize, Latin America and Caribbean Region and Mr. Vickram Cuttaree, Program Leader- Sustainable Development, Caribbean Countries of the World Bank, to discuss the setup of the Department of Energy, which is expected to oversee the management of the oil and gas sector.
The meeting, which was held at the Ministry of the Presidency, also focused on Guyana’s Green State Development Strategy, the setup of the Sovereign Wealth Fund, which will manage revenues from the oil and gas sector and balancing a ‘green’ economy with an oil and gas future.
In April 2018, Minister of Finance, Mr. Winston Jordan announced that Guyana will be benefitting from a US$20M loan approved by the World Bank for capacity building initiatives ahead of first oil in 2020.This include finalizing critical legislation and the establishment of critical units, such as a Petroleum Revenue Unit at the Guyana Revenue Authority, among others. The meeting was therefore held in this regard, as the Department of Energy will be established under the Ministry of the Presidency, for which Minister Harmon has Parliamentary responsibility.
The Minister of Stae said that it is the intention of the Government to have the Department up and running by the end of next month. He noted that the administration understands that this is a potentially massive and transformative emerging sector and it is therefore critical for adequate systems to be put in place for its overall management.
In this regard, he said that a ten-point plan is being looked at, which will ensure that matters such as organisational structure, legislation and capacity building measures are effectively addressed.
Mr. Nadji said that the World Bank has been working with the Ministry of Finance over the past few months and stands ready to offer whatever technical and other assistance it can to the process.
On February 27, Minister of Natural Resources, Mr. Raphael Trotman announced Cabinet’s approval for the setup of the Department of Energy, based on his recommendation, to be housed in the Ministry of the Presidency.
Mr. Patrice de Vivies, Senior Gas Advisor, World Bank Group Energy and Extractives and Ms. Susana Moreira, Extractive Industries Specialist, World Bank Energy and Extractives were also present.