Chinese logging company, Rong-An Inc. (RAI), has initiated steps to conduct logging activities at 417,809 hectares of land in the upper Barama-Cuyuni District. This is according to its Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) that was submitted to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) for review and subsequent approval of a permit. That permit will then allow the company to apply for a State Forest Authorization for the same area.

The EIA notes that the Chinese firm has the capability of managing the area in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner while noting that the proposed project plans to employ up to 150 persons for wood processing and ancillary operations. It was also noted that many skilled ex-workers of Barama Company Limited (BCL) which once held a license for the said concession area, (including residents of Caria-Caria) are hoping for employment.

Additionally, the consultants who prepared the document were keen to note that the mining community of about 1,200 persons actually welcomes the return of logging to the area as it is anticipated that it would lead to new road networks that will allow them to access to mining claims that are currently inaccessible.

The EIA notes that RAI’s logging operations are projected to restore about $500 million per year to the combined economies of Regions One, Two and Three which was lost when BCL closed operations. It is also expected to increase national timber output by 12 percent.

With some 150 persons to be employed, the EIA states that the revenue base for the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) will expand markedly.

Further, the consultants, who are attached to the Forestry Training Centre, believe that RAI will abide by all local laws and forest management standards while emphasizing that the company is sincere in its commitment to regular engagements with stakeholders. The consultants, therefore, recommended that an environmental authorization be granted to RAI.

In addition to its interests in the forestry sector, RAI is heavily invested in Guyana’s mining and fuel sector. Its sister company, China Zhonghao Inc. was early last year, granted a fuel export license that will expire until 2025.


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