June 30 2019
The locally-owned Guysons Oil and Gas firm is currently in negotiations for a large swathe of former sugar estate lands at Wales, on the West Bank of Demerara, which are proposed to be used for oil and gas support services use, a government official said.
“Guysons Engineering is interested in some lands and they are negotiating with NICIL and SPU for that…,” the government official, who did not want to be named, told this newspaper.
When contacted, a representative of the company confirmed “interest” but added “when the company is ready to speak on the issue with the press, it will.”
Sunday Stabroek visited the Wales Estate and community recently and while estate employees were tight lipped about plans, residents said that they have learned that an oil and gas company would soon be established on the lands.
One resident pointed out that the lands being discussed would be both on the eastern and western areas of the Wales Public Road. “We understand that a wharf supposed to come there where all them plenty bush deh (pointing to the eastern section facing the Demerara River) and then the bulk would be from the estate itself running backwards far, far. But you can’t see the lands from here,” a former estate employee said.
In October of last year, Guysons announced that the company had met “the stringent ISO 9001:2015 certification requirements” and its Chief Executive Officer Fizal Khan then announced that a major joint venture deal was expected with “a major international oilfield company to support Tier 1 operators.”
He had pointed out that he was hoping that the newly acquired credentials and professional licence would attract other companies and thus “open unlimited opportunities for growth” of the company but he was reluctant to name the Houston-headquartered company he was expected to partner with, until the finalisation of the partnership agreement.
“We are also speaking to internationally-based investors and partners, again, who wanted to see the quality management systems in place at Guysons before they would consider taking discussions further so much so that myself and a group are flying out to Houston, Texas at the end of the this month for a fourth meeting with a major oilfield company who are very interested to move their regional headquarters to Guyana and we hope that Guysons would be that hub for them,” Khan had said.
The over 30-year-old Guysons Engineering, which is located in West Ruimveldt, Georgetown, offers a large and diverse range of products and services, including the rewiring of motors, rebuilding of small motor cycle engines, regrinding of crankshafts, resurfacing of bore and sleeve blocks, general fabrication and the building of spare parts, among others.
That company now offers complementary support to Guysons Oil and Gas which was formed “specifically to support Guyana’s oil and gas industry.” According to the company, among the services provided are freight forwarding, customs brokerage, warehousing facilities, bunkering services, ship chandlery and inland transport.
In March of last year, 30 lots of what would be considered prime lands at the Wales Sugar Estate were offered for sale, via public advertisement
An advertisement carried in the Stabroek News of March 2nd by the Special Purpose Unit (SPU) set up under the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) stated that Lots numbered 1 to 12 and 14 to 31, parts of Plantation Wales along the eastern and western sides of the West Bank Public Road were up for sale.
Then in December of last year, sale of at least four plots were sold according to an announcement in the Official Gazette.
According to the Official Gazette of December 29, 2018, businessman Raymond Khalil purchased Lots 1 and 2 of land at Plantation Wales along with the buildings there. Additionally Roopnaraine Ramkishun and Deonarine Boodramlall, both of Patentia, purchased Lot 5 and Lot 7, respectively, while businessman Sasenarain Shewnarain, of Versailles, purchased Lot 20.
Nothing else was said on the sale of the lands until earlier this month, when acting Head of NICIL, Colvin Heath-London, said that there were arrangements with several small, medium and large scale farmers, most of whom are Guyanese in origin, while several of the larger farmers are from farther afield, regionally and internationally for lands at Wales.
Giving an update on first sugar estate to be shuttered by the APNU+AFC administration in December of 2016, Heath-London boasted of Wales’ current management.
“Work is ongoing in this field. Predominantly the crop these farmers want to put into production is rice and presently close to over 1,000 acres is under rice cultivation… Farmers who were given leases are now doing land conversion, so as to plant their crops,” he explained, before adding that anyone who travels to Wales today will see this taking place.
“Wales is managed by an able agricultural team and a lot of those members are persons who would have worked with GuySuCo and we are providing technical support so the farmers that come into the space would be extended the support. The small farmers in and around the area [will have] technical support,” he added.