Pritipaul Singh Investments Incorporated (PSII) has reapplied to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for authorization to operate its upgraded seafood processing complex and supporting facilities at Plantation Providence, East Bank Demerara.
According to a 16-page project summary lodged with the EPA and uploaded to its website, PSII said it will be producing and marketing a range of seafood products including: seabob shrimp/ prawns, fresh fish on ice and fresh frozen fish.
PSII told the regulator that it has erected new and improved structures and is currently in the process of readying them for operations. It is anticipated that this facility will have a useful operational life of greater than 25 years in which it will provide incalculable benefits to the local economy.
With respect to its background, Pritipaul Singh Investments Incorporated shared with the EPA that it is a privately owned Guyana-based company involved in the harvesting, processing, packaging, and export of a range of high-quality seafood products.
In May 2005, the company recalled that its proprietor, Pritipaul Singh (Snr), had acquired a trawling vessel fleet, an existing prawn processing plant along with essential supporting infrastructure from Georgetown Seafoods and Trading Company Limited which was operated by Salman Seafoods Incorporated – a family-owned company located in Tampa, Florida.
After acquisition, and given the state of the infrastructure of the complex established since the 1940’s, the project summary states that PSII found it necessary to comprehensively upgrade and expand all the facilities of the complex.
The document which is on the EPA’s website states that a number of basic infrastructural upgrades were undertaken and a tuna processing plant and supporting facilities were commissioned.
It was also explained that a number of factors have forced the company to operate differently. “First, with the commencement of oil and gas activities within the Economic Exclusive Zone of Guyana, a precipitous decline has been experienced in the number of Fin Fish and Seabob/ Prawns caught.
“Secondly, owing to strict COVID-19 measures which were in place both locally and internationally, we experienced significant declines in the demand for our finished seafood products in traditional high consumption markets,” the project summary stated.
The document stated that these new realities have made it necessary for the company to make serious decisions to stem the tide of revenue loss. This included scaling down staff and closing nonfeasible elements of its facilities. The company said it has also started the process of winding down operations at Mc Doom with the view of eventually closing same in 2023. And at the same time, significant upgrading works have commenced at its facilities at Plantation Providence. These are expected to be completed in 2023.