Officials of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) have confirmed that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the government and a prospective investor who is interested in purchasing the Skeldon Estate.
The MoU, the officials explained, will last for a period of one year which will oversee further assessment by the buyer – whom they did not identify. The Guyana Office for Investment (Go-Invest) will subsequently conduct a Feasibility Study which will pave the way forward, the officials divulged.
Meanwhile, the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers’ Union (GAWU) is calling on the David Granger-led administration to be ‘forthright’ claiming that they have been left in the dark.
GAWU, through its General Secretary (GS), Seepaul Narine, told media operatives yesterday at the Union’s Headquarters that that they have been reliably informed by ‘credible’ sources about the MoU.
“We were informed that an examination of the Estate was done by the would-be owner and great interest is shown in the two lucrative co-generation units.” The GS stated.
He added also that the potential buyer is also interested in the Enmore Estate, eyeing the packaging plant as well.
GAWU President, Komal Chand, when quizzed on the identity of the potential buyer, said that based on the information he has received thus far, all fingers are pointing to a company operating out of the United States. He did not commit to naming the entity.
He said that his union does not find the ‘reasons’ advanced by the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) and the Government for the divestment of the estate, as credible.
Seepaul Narine said that with the estate coming under foreign ownership, it will result in a ‘big chunk’ of foreign exchange – which is much needed ‘now-a-days’ – being held outside of Guyana’s borders by the new owner(s).
“It is recalled that former President Forbes Burnham in nationalizing the industry 40 years ago, after centuries of private ownership, alluded to the non-repatriation of foreign exchange as a factor that influenced the decision,” Narine said.
Previous media reports have indicated that the deplorable state of the Skeldon Estate and the expenses incurred, might have given the GuySuCo Board the extra push needed to look at the options of either selling or diversifying it.
Contributing to the estate’s woes also, is the $200 Million Chinese-built factory – the brainchild of the Peoples’ Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C). This factory was established to secure the future of the sugar industry which from all indications, is seemingly on its knees and panting.
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