Sharp increase in shore base, port facilities will provide more jobs – Minister Edghill
The Guyanese public will have to pace itself for massive employment opportunities in the coming years, as multiple shore base and port facilities are being erected to cater for the development of the oil and gas and other industries.
Minister of Public Works, Hon. Bishop Juan Edghill M.P. revealed this during a visit to a job fair held by Guyana Shore Base Inc. (GYSBI) at the Enmore Estate Community Centre on Saturday.
The event was the third such fair held by GYSBI which is seeking to hire 150 locals to support its operations. Two other events were held at Providence, East Bank Demerara and Uitvlugt, West Coast Demerara.
Minister Edghill said the events are worthy of commendation, and added that one cannot purport to achieve local content without providing access.
The minister spoke to some of the applicants while on his visit, who noted that other companies should do the same.
“I believe GYSBI has earned themselves great admiration for this initiative, and I would want to join and associate with those sentiments that have been expressed by the participants here today.”
Minister Edghill was also heartened that there was no shortage of women applicants. He said it was good that women understand that certain jobs are not to be left for men.
The PPP/C Government has been setting the stage for the creation of thousands of jobs for Guyanese, especially youths, as it encourages the aggressive development of the country’s petroleum resources.
Part of this agenda, as indicated by Minister Edghill, includes the granting of no-objections for several more shore base facilities, in addition to what is being constructed by Guyana Shore Base Inc. The need for such facilities is expected to increase, as ExxonMobil adds more projects to its Stabroek block development agenda.
“GYSBI cannot alone handle everything that will be happening, everything that will be happening in the oil and gas sector… GYSBI was the first and they are doing well.”
With ExxonMobil’s operations, the minister explained that the quantity of ships traversing the Demerara River weekly, has more than quadrupled. He said this is projected to go even higher when the next floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel comes on stream next year.
He expects this to grow even more, as operators of other offshore oil blocks could also replicate Exxon’s successful discoveries and develop them.
“So, you’ll need more ports. We will need definitely more lay down yards. We will need more warehouses. We will need more berthing facilities for ships coming in.”
This will not be restricted to oil and gas support services. The minister said it will also apply to agriculture, given His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali’s ambitious plan to return Guyana to its place as the breadbasket of the Caribbean.
“We will need facilities to deal with agricultural supplies, both, for airlift capacity for fresh vegetables and shrimp and fish or even poultry, but we will also need other facilities for our rice, our sugar, if we become a new producer of poultry feed, with our interventions in soya and corn, we need a lot of waterfront facilities.”
Given these plans, the minister projects more development of ports in all three main rivers.
He said Guyanese must be fervent in going after the opportunities to come.