Public Works Ministry receives survey charts of the expanded Demerara Channel

The Hon. Bishop Juan Edghill, Minister of Public Works, during a simple ceremony today, received the survey charts of the Demerara Channel from local consortium NRG Holdings Inc., which was represented by NRG owned Vreed-en-Hoop Shore Base Inc. partners, Nicholas Deygoo Boyer and Andron Alphonso.

The consortium, which includes Hadi’s World Incorporated, ZRN Investment Inc., and National Hardware Ltd. is developing the Vreed-en-Hoop Port Project to support Guyana’s growing oil and gas sector.  

In handing over the document, Boyer noted that the group was very appreciative of the Government for allowing them to undertake the project. “We hope that everybody sees out commitment to Guyana, in terms of doing this,” He stated.

 “Since we began our project you would have noticed dredges from our partner company, Jan De Nul out there working diligently to open up the Demerara Channel, and now that channel has moved from 70 meters wide to 100 meters wide, 9 meters deep chart datum, all the information and surveys are contained here.” … “This activity indeed was undertaken by us privately, and we hope that is a show of good faith towards what we want to build in Guyana,” Boyer added.

Minister Edghill, who was accompanied by Director General of MARAD, Captain Stephen Thomas and MARAD’s Legal Officer, Thandi McAllister, noted that this particular project provides the Ministry of Public Works and the Government of Guyana, a golden opportunity to showcase to all Guyanese, and the rest of the world that the President Irfaan Ali led Administration is not only strong and long on words, but extremely committed to facilitating and ensuring opportunities for Guyanese businesses to prosper and succeed.

“When we came to office we said Guyana is open for business, and I recall very early Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo and President Ali going through with all the various private sector entities that had applications for permits for major development projects, during the time of the previous administration, but nothing was moving or going forward, and if we said we were going to facilitate business, we were going to act.”

“Coming out of that engagement a number of things happened, and we were proud when we saw that this consortium was able to put themselves together, all Guyanese, to do a major development programme. The private sector did not wait to say Government must do this before they could do what they needed to do, but went out there without the necessary capital and made the investments, with our permits, to facilitate the development that is taking place at NRG.”

“I am happy today to receive these charts which will now form the permanent records of the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) of the Ministry of Public Works. This would be able to provide information for notices to Mariners and it would also be a good time for us to say that the Government of Guyana intends to engage in ensuring the entire Demerara Channel is active and is able to facilitate the kind of traffic for both imports and exports that is required,” Minister Edghill stated.  

The Minister also noted that it is the directive of His Excellency President Ali, that this port be able to accommodate and facilitate larger vessels than what currently frequent local waters, as well as accommodate traffic going and coming at the same time.

As per the extensive works, since this began, wrecks have been removed from the channel, the draft has increased from 5 meters to 9 meters, the channel has been lengthened by 5 miles in the NW direction, as well as has been widened by more than 60 percent.

The new deeper, longer, wider channel means that larger vessels can now be accommodated in Port Georgetown.

The dredging is being undertaken by the M.V Galileo Galilei, which is owned and operated by Belgium international maritime infrastructure company, Jan De Nul.

The US$300M project is expected to become operational by the fourth quarter of 2023.  

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