The Private Sector Commission (PSC) has declared its full support for the work of the new Department of Energy within the Ministry of the Presidency.
The commitment, the PSC said in a release was made last Thursday during a meeting of the Chairman of the Energy Sub Committee of the PSC, Deonarine Ramsaroop, with Dr. Mark Bynoe, Director of the new Department and his colleague, Oil and Gas Adviser Matthew Wilks. The Commission and the Department have also agreed to a regular schedule of consultations.
Dr. Bynoe, the release said, stated that “the philosophy of the Department is to be open, transparent and predictable. We are seeking to establish partnerships and to work collaboratively with institutions such as the PSC and we look forward to the PSC being a partner with whom we can have candid dialogue and discussions”.
He noted that there are a number of areas which need to be addressed and soon there will be advertisements for specialized skill sets in the areas of cost recovery, the legal framework and economic modelling in the oil and gas sector . These would have to be sourced overseas, but with embedded Guyanese capacity building.
On the issue of local content, the PSC said that both Dr. Bynoe and Wilks underlined that the oil and gas industry is not labour intensive, and that job creation would mainly come from supporting industries such as construction and hospitality as well as sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and infrastructure development.
In fielding questions from members of the Energy Sub -Committee Dr. Bynoe and Wilks said the Department will soon embark on a sustained public information and education programme which will include community outreaches.
The importance of developing capacity and high standards of production and performance was agreed upon by both the PSC and the visiting two-man team. Joint venturing with reputable foreign companies was also agreed upon as a mechanism for speeding the development of local capacity.
On the issue of gas, it was pointed out by both Dr. Bynoe and Wilks that “gas economics is different from oil and a decision will not be made in haste about how we handle gas. We are getting help from the Inter-American Development Bank … with studies on how best is gas handled”.