Dec 06, 2022 News
Kaieteur News – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will not be required for a docking facility being pursued by local business man Pritipaul Singh Jr. to serve Guyana’s booming oil sector.
In a public notice, the environmental regulator said the ship repairs facility/ dry-docking to be established at Support on the East Bank of Demerara will not significantly affect the environment and is therefore exempted from an environmental impact study. To justify its position, the regulator explained, “the proposed project has environmental safeguards and embedded controls to address impacts during construction and operation (and) the application and supporting documents submitted outline adequate mitigation measures to reduce the impacts that these projects may have on the environment.”
Meanwhile, in presenting the need for a dry-docking facility, Pritipaul Singh Jr. in his Project Summary- made public on the EPA’s website- noted that with oil production activities set to more than double in the next five years’ time, there is a need for supporting infrastructure. “Since the discovery in 2015, and subsequent production of oil in 2019, there has been a gratuitous increase in the amount of maritime activity in Guyana. Thus, by logical extension, the rate at which services will need to be provided to support this increase in maritime activity will need to increase,” the local business pointed out.
It was keen to note that the impact of inadequate facilities to accommodate the work in the maritime sector represents a loss of local content and opportunities to Guyanese. Further, without supporting infrastructure, much of the business opportunities are carried to other countries where services can be carried out in Guyana. “This will result in significant benefits to the local economy including employment, duties and taxes, ancillary goods and services and capacity-building,” Pritipaul Singh said in the document.
Against this backdrop the Dock Yard (DY) is being established. The scope of the project is the establishment of a dry-docking facility in Guyana, with the specific intention of servicing the aforementioned increase in maritime activity. Notably, the facility will allow for hull inspection, full maintenance and other services such as waste removal, equipment rental and a machining shop among others. Dock Yard, a business duly registered under the Business Names (Registration Act, Cap 90:05) of the Laws of Guyana, is a ship repair and dry-docking facility geared to carry out maintenance and repairs to ships. Its principal office is located at Lot 12 Supply East Bank Demerara.
The facility will be built on the eastern bank of the Demerara River comprising approximately 30,000 square feet with a concrete foundation and floor. To the west of the facility is the Demerara River, while on the easterly side on the facility is the bank of the Demerara River. On the bank of the river, there also exists a two-lane road facilitating all types of vehicular traffic. Further east, across the road, is a narrow strip of residential housing.
It was noted that an investment of US$3 million will be made to support the facility that will employ at least 25 full-time workers and about 100 to 150 part time employees.
As it regards impacts to environment, Pritipaul Singh assured that these would be minimal. “There will be no significant land clearing, earthworks, stockpiling, machine operation or concrete works being undertaken in the course of this project which will have the potential to affect the environment directly or indirectly,” the company insisted in its Project Summary. As such, it was noted that there is little to no potential impacts to loss of land and habitats, pollution of air or heavy sedimentation of surface water.
Notwithstanding, there is expected to be the generation of some degree of solid waste, as well as, health and safety related. The impacts, however, are expected to be insignificant and short term in duration and therefore mitigable, the document said.
In the meantime, the EPA has made it clear that the waiver of the EIA does not mean the project has been approved. As such, any person who may be affected by the proposed project may lodge an appeal against the Agency’s decision within 30 days of the publication of the notice.
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