Georgetown, Guyana (February 20, 2024)  His Excellency President Dr Irfaan Ali has emphasised the significant strides Guyana is making in the energy sector and its integration into the regional supply chain. 

Addressing the opening ceremony of the Guyana Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo on Monday, His Excellency noted that the addition of the supply chain to the conference underscores a pivotal shift in policy, investment, and development, aiming to fully integrate Guyana’s economy with CARICOM, South America, and beyond.

He said, “It is important for us to understand the role logistics, transport systems, and investments will play in the building out of our economy but more importantly in the integration, the full and complete integration of our economy with CARICOM, South America, DR [Dominican Republic] and further afield. This is the priority.”

According to the Head of State, this strategic direction supports energy development and propels Guyana to the forefront of the region’s food security initiatives, creating a robust ecosystem for investment opportunities.

In the realm of oil and gas, President Ali outlined Guyana’s strategies for gas and value addition, including investing in upstream opportunities and fostering synergies with Trinidad and Tobago and the wider region. A key ongoing project highlighted was the 250-kilometre pipeline from the floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel to deliver phase one gas, aiming to significantly enhance energy reliability and efficiency in Guyana, thereby reducing energy costs by 50% and bolstering industrial, agro-processing, and manufacturing development.

“Now, why is this important? Our future depends on reliable, efficient energy. Currently, we do not have reliable, efficient energy. We do not have the quantum of energy to drive the industrialisation and manufacturing that is critically needed for the country’s development. So,this project is extremely critical to give us, first of all, efficiency and reliability, but more importantly, it gives us the opportunity to be competitive, because at the end of this project, the cost of energy will be reduced by 50% and that then puts us in the game for manufacturing, agro-processing and industrial development. That is where the acquisitions are.”

With an investment exceeding US$1 billion in the pipeline and additional funds allocated to power plants and transmission infrastructure, Guyana is set to become a major player in energy production and supply chain. The President also noted the potential for exporting surplus propane/butane, which will further integrate Guyana into the regional economy through strategic infrastructure projects like the bridge link to Suriname and the road to northern Brazil.

“It has to be transported, and here is where the bridge link to Suriname across the Corentyne River is key and critical. That is why we are pushing to advance the building of this bridge so that the market in Suriname becomes available in even the first phase of the excess. Then, of course, we are now building out the road to northern Brazil; 122 kilometres of that road is under construction, 45 bridges, all of that investment we’re already making, so that that market becomes immediately available.”

Beyond the immediate energy sector, President Ali discussed the broader implications of these developments for the supply chain and logistics sector, highlighting the creation of jobs, stimulation of small and medium-sized businesses, and enhancement of revenue streams across the region.

“This is the critical link for the opportunities that open up for our country… Do you know what that means for supply chain transport, logistics transportation, the type of jobs that will be created, the type of small businesses, medium-sized businesses, industries that will be accelerated, the type of revenue stream, the type of trickle-down benefit?”

President Ali also explained that Guyana’s strategic direction in developing its gas resources, coupled with investments in infrastructure and regional collaboration, positions the nation as a burgeoning energy hub in the Caribbean and South America. This holistic approach aims to not only advance Guyana’s economy but also to contribute significantly to the prosperity and security of the entire region.