…5000 acres set aside in Pomeroon for Plantation type establishment
With a promise of providing employment for between 400 and 500 persons, an investment of US$30M, the generation of 8MW of electricity and a five per cent equity stake in the new company, some 5000 acres of land has been set aside for an Indian Company which has recently registered a subsidiary locally to pursue a number of projects.
Professor Suresh Narine of the Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology (IAST) and Manu Bansal, Executive Director, Pinnacle Green Resources (Guyana) Limited, yesterday inked a Letter of Intent meant to be transformed into a binding Memorandum of Understanding to pursue a Public Private Partnership, meant to have a positive impact on the energy sector in Guyana.
The agreement will see Pinnacle Green Resources (Guyana) Limited, investing in three projects and has been allocated some 5000 acres of land in the Pomeroon, to pursue a plantation type establishment meant to supply a 200-ton a day wood pellet manufacturing plant.
Dr. Narine, while at the simple signing ceremony held at Office of the President, provided some details into the projects.
Providing an outline of the project, Dr. Narine said that the 5000 acres has been set aside to grow what is colloquially known as ‘Jumbie Beans’ meant to be used as an energy agro forestry product.
The company is said to be intent on setting up the facility meant to compress 200 tons of energy pellets to be shipped to Europe.
He said, too, that the company will be looking to use bio mass as fuel for an 8MW electrical generation plant while another of the projects, will be targeting coconut shells to produce what he called ‘Activated Carbon.’
Dr. Narine reminded that Guyana spends about 55 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product to import fuel, a large part of which is used for electricity generation.
He said that as an alternative, Guyana must be able to effectively utilize the tremendous supply of bio mass available locally, many of which currently pose environmental hazards.
He pointed to paddy husk and bagasse along with a significant amount of waste wood emanating from the logging and sawmilling industry.
According to Dr. Narine, while the Guyana Sugar Corporation currently utilizes some of the bagasse in its Co Generation Plant at the Skeldon Sugar Factory, a vast majority is still wasted.
He noted that based on a recent Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) study, 300 per cent of the equivalent of Guyana’s diesel demand is generated locally on an annual basis but, “bio mass has not been utilized very well.”
He did note that one challenge to pursuing bio mass initiatives, is the fact that it is scattered across the country hence IAST has created mobile units to go to different locations, compress the bio mass and take it to a central facility.
Pinnacle Green Resources (Guyana) Limited, is said to be a multinational company from India and Singapore with a presence in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Zambia among other countries.
The multinational is said to be involved in steel, beverage manufacturing, housing, construction, roads and power generation from waste among other fields.
According to Dr. Narine, Pinnacle Green Resources (Guyana) Limited, first approached the Guyana Consulate in Miami, Florida, with a view to setting up the wood pellet plant purely for export to Europe.
He said however, that following engagements with acting Commerce Minister, Irfaan Ally, talks were facilitated with IAST and the company eventually decided to pursue three projects in Guyana.
He said that in addition to the wood pellet plant, IAST managed to convince Pinnacle Green Resources (Guyana) Limited to pursue gasification and electrification in Guyana from waste.
He said that the company will now be investing the gasification technology for an 8MW plant, electricity which will be supplied entirely from bio mass waste.
Once established there are plans for its expansion.
The third project he said, will not be used for energy but rather ‘activated carbon’ and pointed out that IAST had recommended the use of coconut shells.
According to Dr. Narine, last year some 50 million coconuts were exported and all of the shells are just wasted and is sitting emitting carbon.
He said that activated carbon is used in a plethora of industries including the extraction of gold.
Dr. Narine pointed to the fact that Guyana is on the verge of realizing three major large scale gold operations namely through Guyana Goldfields Inc, Sandspring Resource and Troy resources.
“All three will be utilizing activated carbon so there is a demand in the country.”
While there will not be a monetary investment on the part of Government or IAST, Dr. Narine said that as a result of the input from IAST, Pinnacle Green Resources (Guyana) Limited has agreed to give it five per cent equity in the company.
According to Narine, this will provide IAST with an additional source of revenue and in the process, transforming the project into a Public Private Partnership.
The Activated Carbon project is set to be completed in eight months, the 8MW plant in 24 months and from the time funding is secured, the wood processing plant will be completed in 24 months.
Head of State Donald Ramotar, who was also on hand for the historic announcement, reminded those present that he has always been pushing IAST to move beyond just research and to pursue commercial operations.
According to Ramotar, forestry operations churn out an abundance of waste, all of which can now be put to good use with the realization of the projects.
Between the employment and the promised returns, Ramotar describe the agreement as a win-win situation.
Ramotar did point out that he is optimistic that the projects to utilize the waste can also serve as a demonstration for other parts of the country.
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