Stanley Ming (seated at left) at the InterOil booth
November 21 2019
-in partnership with UK company
In a joint venture with the United Kingdom-based InterOil Group Ltd, businessman Stanley Ming is developing a US$200 million oil and gas shore base at Parika, East Bank Essequibo, where, according to him, locals will be able to rent space to provide services for the sector.
Ming, who had originally envisioned the creation of a community on 1,100 acres of land he owns there, told Stabroek News that it was only a “slight” change from the original housing plans he had for the area. He had also planned to establish the headquarters of his company, Ming’s Products and Services Ltd, there.
Ming told Stabroek News in an interview that 325 acres will be used for the shore base.
He said that the partnership with the oil and gas service provider will provide capital for the housing project which will forge ahead on parts of the remaining lands one year after the shore base, scheduled to start next year, is set up.
“What this project does is it gives the housing plans a jump start. The planned shore base is going to be on the same site I had originally intended for housing, but just beyond there, I have about 600 plus acres more and I will use about 400 acres for the housing activity,” he told Stabroek News.
“The offshore base activity would give the chump [money] for me to do the housing a year later. So you see, the base will just take up about 1/3 of the land. However, the shore base will be open for Guyanese to rent space to provide a wide array of services geared for the sector, without having to get the land. They will just pay a rent,” he added.
Back in 2012, the former PNCR parliamentarian had told this newspaper that while many businesses are searching for space to set up shop or expand in or around the capital city, he had a vision to shift operations to an area on the East Bank Essequibo as part of a planned modern community and commercial development venture.
He had explained that he foresaw the Parika area becoming a pivotal hub for future economic development in the region.
Ming, who has been operating his automotive and marine establishment in Georgetown from 1990, had said that that it was time for the country to stop seeing the synonymy between development and Georgetown and look to other areas, such as Parika.
It was to fulfill his vision that Ming recruited the Trinidad and Tobago firm, Newel Lewis Broadbridge Associates (NBLA) to design the envisaged community and to oversee its creation and named it ISIKA meaning ‘to give’.
Ming’s plans ranged from a fiberglass boat manufacturing facility to a community equipped with state-of-the-art medical, educational and recreational facilities and a place where farmers would process, package and distribute produce to supply the Caribbean and beyond. He also envisioned using the new location to better serve the booming gold, agricultural, tourism, transportation and other natural resources industries.
He said that plans for the housing project had to be put on “slight hold” as the interest he felt would have been generated and the funding, was not generated as planned.
However, last year December, after years of searching for investment partners, he was approached by InterOil who asked him if he was interested in reorganising the development plans to include a shore base.
“I couldn’t go ahead and start building because people were not willing to come to [a] place that did not have jobs readily available. Fate would have it that the InterOil people came here in 2018 and after their own research, they scouted me out and asked if I was interested in having a discussion. I did and they took a while, did their own research and then came back and asked if I was willing to go to London to meet with the company’s chairman,” he said.
“I went and I showed them again my vision, not just for me but for Guyana where I wanted whatever investment to be of benefit for the people here and after discussions we set up an arrangement in April of this year. They continued working and we have reached an agreement and here we are,” he added.
But providing a self-sustained housing community is still on Ming’s agenda and he said that the shore base will complement the housing project.
“I did my research on the company too and I see they have been doing this in parts of Africa where they are focused on local content. They have set up similar shore base service providers and in one country had over 20,000 persons employed. So the plan is not for it to only be a shore base for the company because when it starts operating, Guyanese families will be living nearby and they can also use the shore base for their own businesses,” he explained.
“It is for Guyanese families. We will train, yes provide training and all of that. Any company that wants to set up a service providing business, we are open to providing space in the buildings which will be built. You don’t have to find a piece of land. The idea is any Guyanese, or a group of Guyanese that wants to set up can come on our base. These guys, this is what they do. For example, they had women form a business [which] provided laundry services to the operators. It is not only for the Exxons, Repsols, Tullows, Chevrons… it is for the welder, fabricating business, laundry, food…you name it. One base where all the people will be; a kind of a one-stop shop,” he added.