The recently commissioned Skeldon Sugar Factory is currently not operating at its full capacity, given that adequate supply of cane is not available as yet.
Some 15,000 hectares of cane will be cultivated to supply the Skeldon factory and of this, private farmers will cultivate 4,500 hectares, some30 per cent.
The Ministry of Agriculture is hoping to have all planting completed by end 2010 in an effort to have the factory operating at full capacity in 2011.
The Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuco) is currently negotiating the Power Purchase Agreement with the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) and the Agriculture Minister, Robert Persaud hoping to sign an agreement before next month end.
The multi-million dollar Skeldon Factory was recently commissioned with President Bharrat Jagdeo emphasizing cost recovery after all the investment pumped into GuySuCo and insisting that a sufficient cane supply should be available next year and not in 2012 as currently foreseen.
The factory, which had start-up problems, opened officially in circumstances where there are still a few internal operating difficulties as well as inadequate cane cultivation, a deficiency which is not projected to be remedied until 2012.
GuySuCo has timetabled a sufficient cane supply for December 2011, but President Jagdeo registered his dissatisfaction with this projection saying that it must be realised sooner, “next year.”
Jagdeo dismissed the idea of not having 1.2 million tons of cane in the field until 2011, saying that it was not acceptable, and that steps must be taken to up the supply. He stated that government is prepared to pump additional resources into the industry if that is what is required.
“It could be done from all I have heard and we’re not going to work in the business as usual … we’re going to make a serious effort. I want the board to understand that and the Minister will have to push this,” Jagdeo charged.
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