Rose Hall Estate 51 per cent complete 
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GuySuCo Chief Executive Officer, Sasenarine Singh (Centre) and team inspecting a cultivation field in Canje Berbice on Friday
GuySuCo Chief Executive Officer, Sasenarine Singh (Centre) and team inspecting a cultivation field in Canje Berbice on Friday

— 1,200 hired to date; on track for 2023 opening

By Nafeeza Yahya-Sukar
WITH the work programmes reflecting a 51 per cent completion status of works necessary for the re-opening of the Rose Hall Estate, East Canje, Berbice and 1,200 plus persons recruited to date, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GuySuCo, Sasenarine Singh, is confident the targeted 2023 start date for grinding can be achieved.

In an interview with the Guyana Chronicle while touring the Rose Hall, Albion and Blairmont cultivation fields on Friday, the CEO of the largest single employer in Guyana said that, despite the major setbacks affecting manufacturing industries worldwide over the past two years, the factory is still on track for opening next year.

“Rose Hall factory is scheduled to start grinding in the 2nd crop of 2023 and we are still on that agenda; we haven’t changed that agenda path. I know there is a lot of hearsay that we can’t do it. The point is the naysayers haven’t recognised that three things happened over the last two years that have hurt everybody in this world: COVID which has shut down the manufacturing capabilities in the world; supply chain has deteriorated — orders that took six months in the past are now taking a year to 14 months; and now the war that will impact prices on agricultural equipment and input. We are still pressing on and creating value and I assure you every single day something is being added to the factory.”

Albeit the slowdown which is beyond their control, the team is working around the clock to achieve set deadlines. Some programmes have been pushed back and others are still moving ahead.

“We have ordered the tractors to plough the land at Rose Hall since May of 2021 and they are now coming until the end of April 2022; now we were expecting that before Christmas so we have lost this entire crop to do the cultivation of the Rose Hall land. If you don’t plough the land, prepare the land, how you gonna expect cane?  That whole programme has now been pushed back by six months but that’s fine because we understand the nuances of the new world.”

TOTAL REBUILD
The CEO explained that the factory is going through a total rebuild and many of the critical components needed are already in the country and some will be installed before the end of the year.

“All pumps and motors are in the country for the factory; they are being installed at the various parts of the factory.  We are in the process of trying to build out the front end of the factory, changing out some crystalising pans; those are all planned and scheduled for this year.  Two generators to power the factory has just landed; those are going to be installed soon.  Everyday things are happening. We are at 51 per cent complete and recruited over 1,200 persons already and are pressing on,” he said.

He said, too, that GuySuCo has adopted the position to be an eagle instead of a parrot.

“We choose to soar above the naysayers or parrots, many of them have no idea what it takes to run a manufacturing industry in this time. We will not dwell on them but rather press ahead with our agenda and get the work done that is in best interest of the people.”

Under the APNU+AFC administration, some 7,000 persons were placed on the breadline when they closed the Wales, Rose Hall, East Demerara (Enmore) and Skeldon estates. During the election campaign, the current administration had promised to re-open the estates due to the socio-economic benefits and Rose Hall was slated as the first to be re-opened.

The once bustling Canje area was reduced to a ghost town with the estate’s closure and is now slowly returning to some level of economic activity as 1,200 residents from the area are already employed. With the opening date fast approaching, the numbers that are employed will continue to grow and many are hoping the community can be returned to its former glory days.

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