THE Guyana Shore Base Inc. (GYSBI) is constructing two new berths at a cost of US$16 M to boost its capacity to accommodate Platform Supply Vessels (PSVs) at the Muneshwers Houston Port Complex. The berths– berth three and berth four– which are set for an October 2021 completion date, will allow PSVs space to anchor, similar to that of a wharf. The berths are being constructed using the Open Cell Sheet Pile (OCSP) system, a first-of-its-kind technology to be used in Guyana, which was patented by American engineering consultant company, PND Engineers, Inc. Currently, GYSBI has two berths– berth one and berth two– which facilitate transport on the southern half of its Plantation “A”, Houston, Greater Georgetown location.
These berths were constructed in 2015 and, currently, can only accommodate a 70-tonne crane. The soon-to-be-completed berths will be able to accommodate a 300-tonne crane given the innovative OCSP system.
The OCSP system consists of vertically arranged driven flat sheet piles that act as membranes to retain soil and is particularly ideal for civil and structural applications.
Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar, during a visit to the site on Wednesday, noted that the OCSP system is an innovative system that would facilitate heavier cranes and would allow Guyana access to heavier lifts for the transportation of goods, tools, and equipment to and from offshore oil platforms and other offshore structures instead of those lifts going to another country. “I am pleased with the development that I am seeing here. I understand by the end of October that that project will finish which will allow Guyana to do the heavy lifts. As you know, right now heavy lifts are being done in Chaguaramas or Galeota in Trinidad and all of the services associated with those heavy lifts, whether [it] is transportation, crane services, logistics brokerage, all that is done in Trinidad, and then put on vessels and then it goes straight offshore. With this development now, it will happen in Guyana, to go into Guyanese waters, and we could pride ourselves on that,” said the minister.
He lauded the company’s innovativeness as well as its commitment to the utilisation of Guyanese in its entire process, noting that local transsorters, contractors and even sand providers were partnered with on the project to ensure a boost in the economy. Meanwhile, Richard Kansinally, GYSBI’s Project Manager, stated that the new open cell systems eliminate the need for heavy tieback and extra-long sheet piles to get the required strength to facilitate weight on the berths. Berth three, according to Kansinally, will measure approximately 90. 8 meters while berth four is 94.2 meters. Collectively, the new berths would measure 185 meters. He noted that PSVs are specially designed to supply offshore oil and gas platforms with sizes ranging from 50 to 100 meters (160 to 330 ft) in length. He noted that these berths would allow for two ships to simultaneously offload or onload at GYSBI.
“What will happen now is that we can use a 300-tonne crane any part of the berth to take 200-tonne load; we’re not restricted because it’s only piled here or piled there. Anywhere that we build, we could put a crane of 300-tonnes,” he explained. In his remarks, Robin Muneshwer, Director of Muneshwers Limited, a partner of GYSBI, disclosed that the organisation intends to shortly begin construction of a fifth berth on the southern section of the waterfront, with the intention of facilitating commercial vessels. This will be an extension of some 1500 feet.
According to Muneshwer, once docked at the berth, the commercial vessel would occupy about 200 meters which would take up just under two berths at any one time. This, he said, would negatively impact opportunities for PSVs to dock at the Muneshwers Houston Port Complex. Muneshwer indicated that currently the GSYBI provides jobs for 350 Guyanese and another 140 will be added to that number following the construction of the two berths. “Shore base represents 350 jobs right now that would have been lost if we didn’t exist. What we’re doing now is an even further extension of that activity and that further cements our position as the premier shore-base in Guyana,” he said.