Local Content Policy for year-end completion

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-Private sector feedback to make policy contextually relevant to Guyana

GUYANA’s final Local Content Policy Draft could be finalised by the end of 2019. In the meantime, the Department of Energy (DoE) is working along with international oil and gas companies to develop local content plans.

At a Wednesday press conference, Director of Energy, Dr. Mark Bynoe, said that the document has received much feedback from a number of stakeholders and is now moving towards finalisation.

The policy framework is meant to outline the guidelines by which local content will be understood, developed, measured, secured and implemented in Guyana’s petroleum sector.

It takes into consideration the urgent need for optimization of revenues received from oil to benefit Guyana’s economy and citizens, present and future.

“We did receive feedback from the Private Sector Commission(PSC), Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), the insurance association of Guyana and a number of others and so we’re looking at those comments and ensuring that we’re making the policy more contextually relevant to Guyana,” Dr. Bynoe said.

“What we are setting out here is a framework for engagement and allowing the Guyanese private sector and others not only to access businesses but also for technology transfers as well as to allow for the capacity building that is necessary if Guyana is to have a greater share of the local content pie.”

Dr. Bynoe shut down the notion that there is nothing catering to local content existing currently in Guyana, by reminding that Guyana’s existing Petroleum Agreement mandates that the operator provide an annual local content plan to be approved by the Government.

He assured that the (DoE) is treating Guyana as a unique country with unique needs and expectations which must rightfully be met.

“We will do what is fit for purpose now, and, as Guyana builds further, it ultimately will go through revisions; that’s just the nature of the sector that we’re treating with,” he said.

In the interim, he said the (DoE) has been encouraging joint ventures to better allow Guyanese to participate in the sector and raise their own standards

Meanwhile, ESSO Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, is working along with the Ministry of Education’s Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

The company intends to implement two pilot projects in first quarter 2020 to build capacity at technical institutions in New Amsterdam and Linden.

Youths will be trained in the area of slinging and rigging, scaffolding, welding and fabrication, flange and borehole expertise, static training, facility maintenance and more.

The Director explained, “The last Local Content reported indicated that over 13,000 Guyanese are currently employed in the sector. Additionally, since 2015, over 300 million has been spent by EEPGL and its co-contractors on Guyanese contractors and service providers. The Department of Energy is working with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Education under an Islamic Bank Loan on a possible reverse linkage project to enhance capacity within TVET institutions to service the oil and gas sector and the existing and emerging sectors in Guyana.”

At the same time, Dr. Bynoe said that the Government is working with CGX Energy Inc. (CGX) and Tullow Oil plc to develop their local content plans.

He welcomed the recent CAD $5M by CGX to the University of Guyana (UG) for the capacity building of lecturers and other such initiatives from others.