Harvey Gulf Marine International opens local branch

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CEO of Harvey Gulf, Shane Guidry, cuts the ceremonial ribbon to declare the office open (Adrian Narine photo)

– aims to have 100% local employment, profit sharing plan in place

HARVEY Gulf International Marine, one of the world’s largest marine transportation companies, opened a local office in Guyana with the aim of having 100 per cent local content.

Harvey’s Gulf local office, named Guyana Offshore Vessel Services Inc (GOVS), is located at Barrack and Fort Streets in Kingston. The office, which was opened on Wednesday, aims to build quality links and promote Harvey Gulf’s presence in Guyana’s oil and gas sector.
“The company being here is a show of confidence in Guyana’s emerging oil and gas industry,” said Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Harvey Gulf, Shane Guidry. The investment in its office and operations in Guyana is a significant signal of confidence in the future stability and development of the nation’s oil and gas industry.

The commissioning of the local office, he said, would not have been possible without an early partnership with Western Logistics. “Four months ago when we started exploring we came down here and met them…the people were energetic and thirsty to learn,” said Guidry, adding that the company operates in Mexico, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago but, has never seen that level of excitement and enthusiasm.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Harvey Gulf, Shane Guidry (Adrian Narine photo)

The company entered Guyana with the thought process of opening an office and hiring 100 per cent Guyanese. “We have set up a profit sharing plan for employees so we will not take everything out of the country, some of the money will be put back into the employees’ pockets,” he said, noting that their intent is to also buy things locally.

He said the company is firmly committed to giving Guyanese the best opportunities and training to participate fully in the company’s local operations.

The CEO said the company’s goal is to hire Guyanese and then expose them to rigorous training at the company’s operations facility in the US, which he described as one of the “topnotch” facilities on the Gulf Coast.

This, he said, would help Guyanese recruits to understand Harvey Gulf’s operations and safety culture, as well as its corporation culture. “This also applies to the safety and maintenance person we hire here in Guyana,” said Guidry.

Referring to the possibility of joint ventures in Guyana, Guidry said the company views these as a critical factor to catapult the company’s local operations.
“We absolutely need those… so that we can use all the local products and services that are available to us. They might have a company here that is used to repairing trucks and not boats…well let’s get them to the US and train them to repair boats,” said Guidry.

Harvey Gulf International Marine, was established in 1955. It is a marine transportation company that specialises in providing Offshore Supply and Multi-Purpose Support Vessels for deep water operations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Harvey Gulf is founded on the premise that superior performance and safer operations provide its customers value and satisfaction.

Harvey Gulf achieves superior performance through designing and equipping its vessels to meet their customers’ current and anticipated needs for their deep-water operations. This results in providing customers with the largest cargo capacities for offshore supply services and greatest capability and flexibility for offshore construction services.
Harvey Gulf also designs and equips some of its offshore supply vessels for dual operation as dive/construction and mooring line support vessels, affording greater flexibility to its customers.

President of the American Chamber of Commerce of Guyana (AMCHAM Guyana), Zulfikar Ally, said when companies with such a reputation enter Guyana, it sends positive signals on the growth of business in Guyana, growth in the private sector and more so, growth in a sector that is expected to usher Guyana in the league of developed nations.
“Given the company’s reputation and experience globally, we have the distinct pleasure of welcoming you with open arms to this beautiful country,” said Ally. He assured the company that they will only find warm welcomes and supportive hands as they prepare to conduct business in Guyana.

One of the core functions of AMCHAM Guyana is to ensure that all the US-based companies, which have set up local offices in Guyana, play their role in imparting their knowledge and skills, and developing and training the local workforce in sectors that are new to the country.

“Your presence will do more than just create jobs, it will lift industry standards in the oil and marine sectors, improve safety standards and safety culture, and can serve to streamline important aspects of health and safety at a national policy level through collaboration with the private sector and national authorities,” Ally asserted.

He added that part of an industry where tremendous scrutiny is given to health, safety, security and environment (HSSE), the company’s reputation, which is supported by safety, quality and environmental certifications, speaks for itself.

If all foreign companies transfer their best practices to operations in Guyana, particularly with respect to HSSE, they will effectively contribute to the responsible development of this country and its people. “It would be remiss of me if I do not encourage you to ensure that as much as possible you look to build joint ventures and collaborations with the local private sector businesses and organisations,” said Ally, adding that Guyana is at a critical juncture where it is important for local industries to be provided with the opportunities to build upon what they already have. It is incumbent upon all foreign companies working in Guyana to ensure that local expertise, products and services are utilised in a safe, respectful and lawful way. Marissa Foster, a Petroleum Geologist who works with the Department of Energy, also said that the department hopes to see foreign companies partnering with the locals.