Oil and gas investment at Enmore creating 500 jobs for residents
The partnership between government and GUYSONS and K+B Industries Inc. (GKB), to transform the former Enmore Sugar Estate into oil field manufacturing facilities, goes way beyond oil and gas.
The $7 billion (US$37.5 million) investment will see over 500 jobs being created for villagers, specifically former sugar workers along the East Coast corridor who were terminated, when the previous APNU+AFC Coalition Government ceased operations at the factory.
Moreover, the corridor has the potential to become one of Guyana’s leading hubs for fabrication and machining services, and could eventually see a major economic paradigm shift.
During a recent interview with DPI, GK+B’s Chief Financial Officer, Kads Khan, disclosed that a sum of $1.5 billion (US$7.5 million) has already been spent to commence phase one of the operation.
He said the East Coast corridor provides sufficient land space, which allows the company to effectively accomplish its mandate, which includes Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) and premium accessory service support to Guyana’s oil industry.
“The East Bank, as you probably know is crowded. We spoke with government; they were keen to help and Enmore provided an opportunity for us to get the required land space for the initial part of the project.”
“That would give us a head start. For us to put a plant like that in place would have taken us two years to build. In that period jobs would have gone elsewhere, Trinidad and further afield,” Khan explained.
When that happens, money does not come to Guyana, Khan pointed out. “When we are able to bring that work onshore the profit stays here,” he noted.
Meanwhile, the modern facility will be outfitted with several state- of- the-art computerised and American controlled machines.
Chief Operating Officer, Doug Hemstreet said the idea is to mirror the high-quality operation of K+B Industries in America, noting that the same top tier technology and experience will be utilised at Enmore.
“It means technology, it means training, it means the best equipment that we can bring here and have available…We are going to be bringing our expertise foremost, as far as our part for this, the expertise in the oil and gas industry as it relates to OCTG, premium accessories, premium threading and turn key manufacture,” Hemstreet said.
Meanwhile, GKB has begun its recruitment process, starting with the 42 workers currently employed at the Enmore Packaging Plant.
The strategic approach is also in keeping with His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali’s stern directive that persons currently working at the sugar factory must remain employed.
The partnership will ensure that there is a seamless transition, by the workers from the Guyana Sugar Corporation to GKB Industries.
Dr. Ali, had publicly hailed GKB for its remarkable move, when the announcement was made on day two of the recent International Energy Conference and Expo, held at the Marriott, Georgetown.
“These are highly skilled jobs being created and the company has committed to commence that process almost immediately to have the eventual 500 employees trained and ready to take up jobs in the company,” the President said.
GKB’s Chief Executive Officer, Faizal Khan told DPI that the company’s head community affairs officer has started consulting with community members, with an effective plan.
“We are weeks in already, we would have mentioned already this has been one and five o’clock in the mornings phone calls, trips up and down, the engagement with the community in Enmore has already started. We have already started looking at projects we can do in and around the Enmore community,” the vice president said.
Additionally, he disclosed that senior officers from the human resources, health and safety, and admin departments are also in the fields engaging ex- sugar workers and other persons to advance the process.
The GKB team also presented to the workers the company’s plans, while both sides shared their enthusiasm about the new venture.
The CEO said, “We have agreed to take on the entire Enmore facility team, which guaranteed jobs in the transition from sugar to oilfield. Given that this is a different industry, the current staff will require training.”
“They will be trained by GKB with trainers from America coming to Guyana regularly. The GKB training is going to last a minimum of 90 days and includes health and safety as well as Oilfield Machine Shop Training. We were happy to meet and interact with the people and we look forward to working with them.”
He noted that the training will ensure that the workers can efficiently transition into the new sector, which has strict health, safety and security standards and requires more technical skills than they may have been used to in the sugar industry.
“There would be regular drug and alcohol screenings. The training will take some time, it will take money, but we are committed to making it work and have already started investing into their oilfield training programme,” the CEO added.
Thus far, 12 females and 30 males have registered for the transition into the new company.
Meanwhile, the CEO commended President Ali for the initiative, “On this occasion, I would like to thank the President himself personally for the continued support he has been giving us. This is a true demonstration that I fully endorse as a ‘One Guyana’ initiative.”
GKB Industries is a majority owned Guyanese company, established in 2020 through two existing service companies for ExxonMobil, Guysons and K+B Industries.
Guysons is a 30-year-old engineering local firm, while K&B Industries has been a trusted supplier of OCTG tubular threading services, machining, manufacturing and assembly services for the oil and gas industry over decades.