GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (DPI) – In light of the world verging on a transition to renewable energy sources, it is crucial for the Caribbean countries to adopt a collective approach to reducing emissions and reliance on fossil fuels, says natural resources minister, Vickram Bharrat at a closing panel on day three of the International Energy Conference and Expo at the Marriott Hotel, Georgetown.
He made mention of the recently concluded forty-fourth regular meeting of the conference of heads of government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), noting that it provides the platform for the exchange of policy-making ideas and the forging of additional alliances.
Highlighting that Guyana remains keen on expanding its cooperation endeavours with other CARICOM countries, the minister made mention of the ongoing collaborations between Guyana and Trinidad in areas of mutual priority.
He aligned Guyana’s novice stature in the oil and gas arena with Trinidad’s decades of experience, noting that efforts to further collaboration in the energy sector will continue.
The natural resources minister said:
“It shows the kind of relationship we share with our sister CARICOM countries. It also shows the importance of us working together. Trinidad has been an oil-producing country for decades. There is a lot that we can learn from Trinidad. We are a new oil-producing nation, and we may have qualified people here, but in terms of experience in managing the sector, we are learning too. And we are doing it quickly. That is why we have been trying to foster greater partnerships through our local content legislation. The law has brought together a lot of Caribbean countries.”
Further, the minister addressed Trinidad’s offer of the country’s oil refinery for Guyana to use, outlining that, while Guyana endeavours to build its own oil refinery, the government remains open to a partnership with the country.
In this regard, minister Bharrat said the formation of a ‘work group’ to propel energy cooperation between the two nations is on the horizon.
Late last year, the government extended an invitation for bids for the design, financing, and building of a 30,000-barrel-per-day oil refinery, a notable leap in the country’s endeavour to become a force in crude oil production.
The refinery is set to be constructed at the mouth of the Berbice river. Nine bids have been submitted in this regard.
Once started, construction of the refinery is anticipated to be completed by 2025. Further, in a representation of the commitment between Guyana and Trinidad to foster collaborative development, the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding just last year to resolve trade restrictions and promote advancement in other sectors.
The agreement sought to propel teamwork in agriculture and food security, energy, infrastructure, security, education, tourism, sports and culture.
The minister noted that “it is important at this time in our history that we work together as a unit, and not see ourselves as an island. There is strength in unity. Economies become more profitable if we do it together.”