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Ministry of Agriculture of Guyana : Dr. Ramsammy urges investors to look for bio-ethanol production potential


The conclusion of a technical cooperation agreement, under the theme “Expanding Bio-energy Opportunities in Guyana” last Wednesday saw the call for investors by Agriculture Minister, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, to look into the potential of producing bio-ethanol in Guyana.

The minister was speaking at a close-out symposium, held at the ministry’s boardroom, where he stressed that while the project has come to an end, bio-energy’s development in Guyana will continue to be expanded and accelerated.

He said, “Let me make it clear and give government’s commitment that while this is the close-out ceremony of the technical agreement, the bio-energy programme in Guyana will not stop here, but will rather be further expanded.”
The project was inked in August 2007 and the Technical Cooperation was spearheaded by CARICOM and Caribbean Renewable Energy Development Programme (CREDP), through a collaborative effort of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), with support from the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), the Organisation of American States (OAS), and the Guyana Government.

Since then, several initiatives have been undertaken, most notably the development of a draft Agro-Energy policy and the establishment of a bio-ethanol plant at the Albion sugar estate.


Ramsammy explained that the plant is operational and has produced over 1,000 litres of bio-ethanol in an efficient manner, still possessing the capacity for greater production.
He pointed out that currently a blender is being installed at the facility to support Guyana’s consideration of fuel-blending.
Presently, the country’s bio-energy policy is currently under review for consideration by Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and a team of technical officers to have a blend of 10 percent biofuel to the regular gas.
Ramsammy said: “If we were to consider a blend for fuel, it must not be from a product that we import…we must ensure at all times the bio-ethanol we produce come from our own products.”

The minister added that Guyana has much potential for the production of sugar cane, particularly so in the Intermediate Savannah regions and this opportunity could be seized in moving forward in the production of bio-ethanol.

However, he stressed that, contrary to the misconception, no current lands used for sugar cane production will be converted to be used for bio-ethanol production, but rather the vast land resources available will be made use of.

Ramsammy highlighted that Guyana currently uses some 14,000 barrels of fossil fuel per day, 6,000 barrels of which cater to the nation’s transport needs.
According to him, with demand for energy set to increase, the way forward must take into consideration other alternatives.
He stressed that Guyana intends to be seen as a leader in the Caribbean Region as it relates to the push for alternative energy development.


Ramsammy added that the agriculture sector, presently catering to food and nutrition security, can also contribute to energy insecurity that may challenge Guyana.
He stressed that the disregard of bio-energy is “reckless” as it is also the answer to the global challenge of eliminating carbon emissions.
Other than the development of bio-ethanol, Ramsammy underscored the potential of the local oil palm and paddy husk as products that could be used to generate bio-energy.
“This is an opportunity we must not neglect,” he said.

The minister stated too that the ministry itself will be installing a mechanism at their canteen that will demonstrate the use of bio-energy at a domestic level, an indication of the possibilities.

He stressed that at all levels, Guyana must play its part in reducing its dependency on fossil fuels and embrace the need for energy security as a quintessential part of the nation’s development.
“We affirm that bio-energy is here to stay as a national pursuit…Guyana must stand out as a leader in the bio-energy revolution,” Ramsammy said.

He acknowledged that move from the progress of the technical cooperation is a daunting one, but one that Guyana must not be deterred from.

The programme’s Bio-energy Programme Manager, Dr. Clairmont Clementson, noted that moving forward the programme will also be looking at short, medium and long-term initiatives, including the creating of working groups to review and oversee the implementation of recommendations made by partnering stakeholders.
The project has been lauded by stakeholders as one that will improve the financial structure for bio-energy investment, increased local capacity to support investment and development in this area and resources for training.



Category/ies:News, Trinidad and Tobago News.
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