The Ministry of Public infrastructure (MPI) and Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) have agreed to changes in land use plans in the Diamond, East Bank Demerara (EBD) area to facilitate projects that both sides are engaged in including a solar farm and new headquarters for the company.
A joint release from MPI and DDL on Friday said that Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson and his ministry’s Permanent Secret-ary Kenneth Jordan on Monday toured the operations of DDL as well as surrounding areas at Diamond where the projects are to be developed.
The projects including the construction by MPI of a new highway from Ogle on the East Coast to Diamond and re-routing of traffic arrangements to be undertaken by the ministry and the expansion and diversification of DDL’s operations require some adjustments to previous land use plans to which both the ministry and the company have agreed.
The release said that the visit to Diamond follows an earlier meeting last week between the Minister and a team from DDL headed by its chairman, Komal Samaroo, at which the land use issues were discussed and agreed upon in principle. Patterson subsequently reported to Cabinet and DDL’s chairman to the company’s Board of Directors on the outcome of the discussions.
Monday’s visit enabled on-the-spot examination of the areas identified for the various projects as well as specific works to be undertaken to improve drainage, dampen traffic congestion, and enhance road safety.
Among DDL’s expansion plans are the building of a new packaging facility, a new headquarters building, the establishment of a solar farm for energy generation and the relocation of the Topco juice plant.
Monday’s discussions also dealt with issues such as future development of the area when the road from Brazil and a deep-water harbour eventually come on stream, the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG), and the efficient transport of products for export to ports in the capital, Georgetown.
Both Patterson and Samaroo indicated their pleasure at “the meeting of the minds” of both the Government and DDL on matters that needed to be addressed and stated that teams from both sides will immediately begin work on a number of action items agreed upon.