With plans to create over 200 jobs for locals in the oil and gas sector, an overseas-based Guyanese is partnering with an experienced United Kingdom offshore support company to create another shore-based operation in Region Four.
Danco Logistical Contractors Inc. (Danco) and Consolidated Supply Management (CSM) of the UK yesterday signed an agreement that would see them building and operating a shore base at Craig, on the East Bank of Demerara.
The eight-acre site at Lot 233-235 Buzz Bee Dam is expected to be transformed into a US$18 million CSM-Danco facility, which its owners hope will support oil and gas operators and their prime contractors here from October this year.
“We hope this US$18 million project will have a transformational effect on many aspects of the oil and gas sector,” Danny Ramnarain, President of Danco, yesterday told a press at a briefing at the Ramada Georgetown Princess Hotel, at Providence.
He explained that Danco was registered in Guyana last year. He has been in the electrical contracting business in the United States for over 20 years.
Seeing shore base operation needs here, Ramnarain decided to partner with CSM and he said he hopes that their investment can transform the East Bank of Demerara as they believe that some US$50 million in business will be brought to the Craig community alone, annually.
Partner in Danco, attorney Eusi Anderson, was quick to point out that Danco’s recent registration and incorporation should not be a cause of concern as its United Kingdom partner has worked in several countries without complaint. “We have worked with BP [British Petroleum], Chevron, Texaco, Repsol…we have operated with several of the companies here…so we are not new,” CSM Chief Executive Officer Alberto De Losada said.
“The operation is in Buzz Bee Dam, Craig. The hope is to move and ship that main shore base facility to the port at GNSC [Guyana National Shipping Corporation]. This is right on Lombard Street. We are looking at a distance of approximately six miles. I want you to envision the amount of economic activity that would happen in that six miles. People in Craig will need to provide facilities to the 200 persons that would be working there at some time and this is the type of paradigm rural revival that we are looking at. The EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] is shepherding us every step of the way. We will get a construction permit from them before we start… whatever you think of, we will be compliant with that. We are also committing to auditing and ensuring of our compliance with regulations. For logistics and world-class knowledge, that is why you have CSM,” Anderson said.
De Losada added that it is “more a perception” that everything has to be on the sea side. “That is certainly not the case. We operated nearly ten years in Azerbaijan, running a three-vessel turnaround per day and we had about an eight mile trek between our base and the side to run these operations. Safety is our call when we operate. All the standards and all the safety we have. We are certified ISO 9001 and ISO 45001…those standards are our commitment to safety and security and environmental protection. Those are our drivers and what we call our life essence to operate,” he said. We operate with such standards that we ran our 10-year contract with BP without any LTIs [lost time injuries]. I just celebrated in Peru an 11-year project without any LTI…,” he added as he listed other projects.
De Losada said the EPA would be also be working with the company “every step of the way,” while Anderson reiterated that the company will be “fully compliant with the local content policy of the Government of Guyana and international best practice in it.”
Executives of the company are currently in negotiations to rent the GNSC port facility for its operations.
Head of the EPA Dr. Vincent Adams said that the company yesterday met with representatives of the agency for the first time.
CSM-Danco already has competition for shore-based support services.
Exxon has an exclusive contract with the Guyana Shore Base Incorporated, which provides all the food, water and other supplies for the offshore operations. CEO Robin Muneshwer has said development is being done in phases and there are plans in the pipeline to provide fuel bunkering and a third berth for vessels.
Last June, shipping company John Fernandes Limited (JFL) inked a multi-million dollar shore-based support contract with Saipem, a key contractor for ExxonMobil, at its Water Street location.
JFL’s CEO Philip Fernandes had explained that Saipem, one of ExxonMobil’s tier one contractors, had been contracted to supply and install the risers and umbilicals connecting the subsea operations with the Floating Production Storage and Offloading platform. Saipem, in turn, subcontracted, the shore-based aspects of the job to JFL.
In September of last year, gold magnate Nazar ‘Shell’ Mohamed made a big investment in a storage facility at McDoom, also on the East Bank of Demerara, which is expected to serve ExxonMobil’s current offshore works.
It is expected that sixty jobs would be created. And with most of the work being done using machinery, as it would require “lots of heavy lifting that doesn’t require manual labour,” Mohamed had emphasised that the project was a capital and not labour intensive one.