— says operation will create close to 50 direct jobs
WITH an increasing demand for construction materials across Guyana, local company M&B Construction plans to establish a US$4 million quarry on 1,250 acres of land located along the Essequibo River, Region Two.
Named the Keriti Quarry Project, the proposed operation will be tailored to produce 300,000 tonnes of aggregate and boulders per year in its initial capacity, the company said in a project summary seen by this publication.
According to the Institute of Quarrying, this activity involves the process of removing rock, sand, gravel, or other minerals from the ground, to use them to produce materials for construction or other purposes.
Quarrying is any such work on the surface of the earth where minerals are extracted. Quarries are also known by other names around the world, such as surface mine, pit, and open pit or open-cast mine.
The institute said that materials produced by quarrying are essential to everyday life, as they provide the construction materials needed to build roads and buildings, deliver vital minerals to agriculture, and support the generation of electricity, among other things.
In further outlining its plans for the Keriti Quarry Project, M&B Construction said the quarry outputs will be transported by barge down the Essequibo River to Georgetown.
“The main objective of this project is to carry the business of prospecting, exploring, developing, drilling, blasting, and crushing capabilities onsite for the supply of these products to the market in and around Georgetown,” the company said.
The plan is to produce mainly aggregate for the construction industry, but the company will also be capable of producing armour layer, gabion, and boulders for sea defences.
In addition to its output, M&B Construction intends to contribute to economic development through the timely payments of taxes, fees and duties.
“This project will also play a huge role in the economic growth of this country by generating revenues and promoting employment, while supplying the materials needed to support the construction industry. The key beneficiaries will include the local workforce and businesses allied to the quarrying operations,” the company related.
During the construction phase, the company will create close to 80 jobs, and a further 50 direct jobs upon completion.
There will also be spin-off benefits, since quarrying is linked to many other industries and other sectors in the economy, including transportation, construction, and environmental management.
Speaking about the potential for advancement in the local quarrying industry, President Dr Irfaan Ali had said: “Guyana has a huge quarry potential that has been greatly underdeveloped. Our accelerated housing programme, massive highways, and community roads to be developed will increase our demand three-fold over the next five years.”
A reflection of what was said by President Ali was the performance of the construction industry in 2021.
Although figures on the industry’s complete performance is not available at this time, there were positive signs at the end of the first half of last year, when a 25.5 per cent increase was recorded.
It was widely reported that from the housing sector to the agricultural sector, there was mobilisation of resources from both private and public sector stakeholders, who started laying the foundation to capitalise on the impending local growth.
Private projects, as reported, range from the construction of hotels and apartment complexes, to shopping complexes and office buildings, among other things.
In the public sector, aside from the construction of several low-income and young professional houses, there were upgrades to highways, main roads, and miscellaneous roads countrywide. This was also supplemented by the commencement of construction of new roads.
In addition to providing improved road facilities, the ongoing works have also added to the creation of thousands of jobs, bringing the Dr Irfaan Ali-led administration closer to delivering on its promise to create at least 50,000 jobs within the next five years.
During 2021 alone, the government budgeted $172.4 billion for education, public infrastructure and healthcare. Of this sum, $58.2 billion worth of planned expenditure on public infrastructure was the second largest component of the government’s fiscal programme.
On the capital side, the budget for infrastructure was $32.9 billion or 32 per cent of the total allocation for 2021.