Yet again…

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Kaieteur News lies exposed
THE government yesterday sought to again expose what it described as blatant lies being published by the privately owned Kaieteur News.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, at the Office of the President, in a letter to the media last evening, said the “the editor and management of Kaieteur News continue to misinform the public by insisting that the Government of Guyana has signed several secret deals”, the latest being an agreement with ANSA McAL for Bio Energy Development.
The Kaieteur News stated that no public tendering procedures were followed and that NUMARK is not aware of ANSA McAL as a Bio Energy investor. However, the
government said it wishes to clarify the following:

1. A detailed expression of interest was published both locally and internationally, inviting consulting firms to submit proposals to conduct a consultancy for expanding bio energy opportunities in Guyana and was published on Sunday, August 29, 2009 in several newspapers.

2. The terms of reference, specifically Component One, sub component three requires NUMARK to identify potential investors as can be seen in excerpt file submitted from NUMARK.

3. The list of investors published by Kaieteur News on February 28, 2012 was compiled since 2007.  From 2007 to the commencement of the NUMARK’s consultancy, most of these firms as listed in the Kaieteur News were non-responsive.

On Monday, Agriculture Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy also refuted claims by the Kaieteur News that government has sealed a secret deal with Trinidad and Tobago business conglomerate ANSA McAL to build an ethanol project on 100,000 hectares of virgin land.
Minister Ramsammy said Guyana’s energy potential has been talked about by governments before and after it gained independence. He noted that Guyana’s bio-energy potential was a major issue discussed by the late President Dr. Cheddi Jagan. Additionally, it was discussed in the country’s development strategy crafted by former President Bharrat Jagdeo that the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) is explicit to its goal that Guyana will pursue aggressively a bio-energy path.
Minister Ramsammy said, “The talk of bio-energy did not come up in the last few weeks.” He added that talks were long in the pipeline.
He noted that the Guyana School of Agriculture has had discussion with someone who, is a leading food processor in the Caribbean, regarding setting up a food-processing plant within the school. This, he says, is not being publicised by some sections of the media.
“In the context of Guyana pursuing an agro-energy policy, there are investors who have expressed interest after which a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed, giving permission to talk (to) people and put proposals forward,” Ramsammy disclosed.
“I am not aware of any land being leased to anyone at this time,” he said.  He added that he was aware of the interest of several local and international enterprises in Guyana’s potential for bio-mass development and bio-fuel production; and those enterprises were inspired by Guyana’s aggressive pursuit of the development of bio-energy.
Government is aware that persons have paid attention to its agro-energy policy — that bio-fuel production is an important part of its development programme — and welcomes local and international enterprises on board.

According to Ramsammy, “Persons should encourage the project, rather than discourage, as the benefits are significant,” he said.
“Once Guyana succeeds in setting up a bio-plant for bio-fuel production, not only the economy will benefit, but also every citizen,” Ramsammy assured.
Ramsammy chided those seeking to play political games, noting that the development of bio-energy is not one that should be used for that purpose.