Natural Resources Minister, Vickram Bharrat believes the Guyana Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo, billed for the Marriott Hotel from February 19-22 under the theme “Fuelling transformation and modernization”, is well on its way to becoming the premier event of this hemisphere.

During a press conference on Monday at the Marriott Hotel, Minister Bharrat was part of a panel that shared insights into the importance of the event and how preparations are coming along. Minister Bharrat said government is pleased to lend its support to the event, noting that it provides opportunities for strategic partnerships. He said this aligns perfectly with the administration’s push for Guyanese to be in the driver’s seat of the nation’s developmental renaissance.

“…Since taking office in August 2020, we have emphasized the need to create more opportunities for Guyanese and their businesses. As a new oil-producing country, we took a significant step towards enacting the Local Content legislation. This move is substantial, considering that many countries, some with decades or even centuries of production experience, are still at the policy stage without concrete legislation,” the minister said.

With the establishment of Guyana’s Local Content Secretariat, Bharrat said the country has been able to ensure compliance with the new law while trapping millions of dollars in country. This news agency recently reported that since January 2022 to present, contractors, sub-contractors and licensees reporting to the Local Content Secretariat have recorded 3,938 local hires, of which 785 were made within the first six months of 2023. Of the total, 824 Guyanese were employed as plant and machine operators, 1,203 as professionals (accountants, lawyers, engineers, etc.), and another 485 as technicians.

Also in keeping with the Act, annual plans received from contractors, subcontractors and licensees, amount to an estimated US$721 million in procurement of goods and services and training. This is US$21M above the 2022 performance, which covered 40 categories of services. Current estimates suggest that US$518 million will be procured from Guyanese suppliers providing goods and services in 2023.

Minister Bharrat said, “While the implementation of the Local Content Law has allowed us to foster numerous joint ventures and partnerships and trap significant value in country…the Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo will build on this.”

Guyana’s Chief Investment Officer at the Guyana Office for Investment (Go-Invest), Dr. Peter Ramsaroop also noted the importance of the conference in showcasing the numerous opportunities that are available for partnership in the oil and non-oil sectors. “From the theme of the conference alone and given its expanded focus of a supply chain expo, it is clear that we are a regional powerhouse with much to offer,” the Chief Investment Officer said. In this regard, he believes that Guyana is already demonstrating to the rest of the world that it is intent on being a model state by using its oil resources to fuel growth in agriculture and manufacturing with the onset of the gas-to-energy project.

Head of the Private Sector Commission, Komal Singh was also part of the six member panel. He noted that the PSC is excited to be a partner with the conference. As Guyana’s oil sector developments continue on an accelerated pathway, Singh underscored the need for the build out of a robust logistics hub. “We need to springboard to that because it will be key to supporting the gas-to-energy project when it comes on stream,” he said.

As for Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo, Kurt Baboolall, he said there are 30 sponsors onboard inclusive of ExxonMobil, Hess, CNOOC, GTT Logistics, Blue Waters, and Digicel. He said too that there are 200 exhibitors, with eight spots remaining. Baboolall also noted that there is guaranteed participation from over 21 countries along with representation from 19 sectors.

Guyana Standard understands that the agenda of the conference boasts over 66 distinguished speakers, including numerous world leaders who have confirmed their participation. These notable figures include Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani; Suriname’s President, Chandrikapersad Santokhi; Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister, Keith Rowley; and The Bahamas’ Prime Minister, Phillip Davis.

Representing Guyana will be President, Dr. Irfaan Ali; Vice-President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo; Natural Resources Minister, Vickram Bharrat; Senior Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh; and Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips.

Pulitzer prize-winning author and renowned energy and economic expert, Daniel Yergin, will also be attending.

The conference also promises a series of thought-provoking panel discussions alongside enlightening presentations from oil companies and a special segment dedicated to youth engagement.

From left: Guyana’s Chief Investment Officer, Dr. Peter Ramsaroop; Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat; CEO of the Energy Conference, Kurt Baboolall; and GTT Business Solutions COO, Orson Ferguson

One of the key highlights is the panel discussion titled “Shaping the Future of Energy: Trends and Challenges.” This session features a diverse group of experts, including Mark Oberstoetter from Wood Mackenzie, Theodore Khan of Control Risks, Schlumberger( SLB) Guyana’s Carlos Sarmiento, and Dr. Michal Pawinski from The University of the West Indies. Their combined expertise in upstream research, risk management, diversity and inclusion, and international relations is set to offer a multifaceted view on the evolving energy landscape.

The conference will also feature updates from the oil and gas sector by prominent figures like Head of ExxonMobil Guyana Limited, Alistair Routledge and Professor Suresh Narine from CGX Energy Inc. Their presentations are expected to provide valuable insights into current activities and future prospects in the sector.


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