Distribution Services Limited (DSL) yesterday commissioned a new state-of-art warehouse built at a cost of over $1 billion and Minister of Finance Winston Jordan called the investment a testament to the improvement in the investment climate in Guyana.
The new facility, located east of DSL’s Cash and Carry outlet at Diamond, East Bank Demerara, was under construction for 17 months and was completed and handed over by the contractor – Nabi Construction Inc – on March 1st to Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL), the parent company of DSL.
According to DSL’s General Manager Brian Prittipaul, the facility measures 136 feet by 240 feet and has a total gross area of 42,000 square feet, of which the office area takes up approximately 8,000 square feet, while the ground floor space extends to 34,000 square feet. The warehouse is equipped with four cold rooms, with a total chilled storage area of 18,025 square feet and two frozen storage chambers of 1,070 square feet.
The receiving area has four docking stations and the dispatch area can accommodate multiple trucks simultaneously, ensuring efficient turnaround time.
Prittipaul also pointed out that the warehouse is equipped with passive infrared occupancy sensors in some areas in order to activate lighting systems only when the specific areas are occupied, while there are also automatic shut-off faucets in the washrooms which, together, support the company’s efforts to conserve energy and water.
“While the property is a significant expansion relative to the previous location at Ruimveldt Industrial Estate, the new facility has been modular in its design to cater for further expansion at the southern section,” he said, while noting that there is space of approximately 30,000 square feet for further expansion.
Giving the feature address in the stead of President David Granger, Jordan underscored that the economy cannot fully realise its potential without the presence of domestic companies such as DDL and DSL by extension, since domestic private companies are a major driver of job creation and economic growth in any economy.
“This investment is evidence of the improvement in the investment climate in Guyana. This is one of several larger investments that are taking place in the economy and it is an indicator of how confident private businesses are about the state of our economy,” Jordan said.
He noted that government will continue to put in place enhanced measures to ensure that there is adequate public infrastructure, favourable macroeconomic conditions, strengthened institutions and reduced bureaucratic red tape since they understand that those are critical for a positive and dynamic business investment climate. He added that government is making “every effort” to attract investors for investment in the different sectors of the economy.
Jordan also explained that government’s reduction of corporate tax rates from 30 per cent to 27.5 per cent, along with the reduction in Value-Added Tax and other fiscal measures in support of the private sector, would’ve impacted greatly on the company’s improved profitability.
“This government will continue to do what is necessary to promote the expansion and sustainability of local private business in Guyana. I would like to announce to you that during our second term in office you can expect the corporate tax rate to be reduced to at least 20 per cent, consistent with our recognition that manufacturing will drive the oil and gas economy,” he added.
DDL’s Executive Chairman Komal Samaroo also gave remarks at the commissioning and said that the project marks a major step forward in the diversification of the DDL group and is a part of their $10 billion expansion programme. DDL has also commissioned a new warehouse for ageing rum and has several projects at various stages of implementation as part of the expansion project.
“Not too far from here, we are building a new modern blending plant which is scheduled for completion later this year. We are in the middle of a modernisation of the Demerara Shipping Port and Office facilities…and we are commencing a major expansion of our Topco operation, an expansion which I think brings very interesting linkages to the agriculture sector in Guyana,” he added.
Also present at yesterday’s commissioning were Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge, Minister of Business Dominic, Gaskin, head of the Private Sector Commission Desmond Sears, and DDL founder Yesu Persaud, among others.
After the presentation, the group was taken on a tour of the facility.