We the innocent, led by the unknown, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful!
We have done so much with so little, so we are now qualified to do anything with nothing!
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Gov't blasts Kaieteur News over false Ansa Mc Al deal claim
There was “no secret deal” or “illegality” surrounding government’s decision to ink a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ansa McAl Group of Companies which will see the production of ethanol in Guyana.
This is the position of the government of Guyana as it had cause again to lambaste the Kaieteur News for its sensational reports on the signing of the deal.
In a one page statement to the media on Saturday, the Office of the President called on any publication including the Kaietuer News or political group to show where the project was done in secret and not consistent with the country’s various laws and regulations.
“To suggest this was a secret deal is not only misleading but a gross misrepresentation of the reality and part of the continued campaign to cast aspersions on the PPP/C government,” the statement explained.
The government of Guyana said that it has recognised the importance of energy security and took the initiative of hosting the Caribbean’s first forum on expanding bio energy opportunities in the Caribbean in August 2007. This forum resulted in the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) partnering with the government through a technical cooperation to expand bio energy opportunities in Guyana.
The statement noted that in July 2010, the government through public tendering awarded a contract to NUMARK Associates Inc of the United States for the service consultancy to expand bio energy opportunities in Guyana. As part of the terms of reference, NUMARK was tasked with compiling a list of potential bio energy investors who may be interested in investing in Guyana.
“Based on the NUMARK’s report and the proposals received from investors, ANSA McAl was selected after their proposal was scrutinised by technical experts in the field of bio energy, which was subsequently approved and signed on September 30, 2011 and witnessed by representatives of the government and ANSA McAL,” the Office of the President stated.
In conjunction with the government of Guyana, ANSA McAL is currently conducting an in-depth feasibility study which includes infrastructure and development works; plant and equipment and rolling stock.
The ethanol plant is projected to have a capacity to process up to 2,000,000 tons of sugarcane per year and produce up to 40 million gallons (nameplate capacity) of ethanol per year. This agro-energy industrial project will be built on 110,000 hectares of virgin land.
As a strategy for economic development, the government has adopted a policy to foster the development of economic activities in Guyana in an efficient, environmentally safe and sustainable manner.
As a result, the government of Guyana and a subsidiary of the ANSA McAL Group of Companies, a regional conglomerate, has agreed to partner to establish a world scale biofuel project.
In a statement as well to the media, the Trinidad-based Ansa McAl Group of Companies explained that it is expected that through the synergy between the government of Guyana and the ANSA McAL Group, the people of Guyana will benefit through: generation of entrepreneurial service industries, resultant employment and wealth creation for nationals of Guyana, opportunity for Guyana to become the regional leader in the development of regional policies, standards and frameworks for utilisation of alternative fuels, with the potential of reducing the region’s dependence on fossil fuels. The proposed ethanol project will be well positioned to successfully become a low-cost, globally competitive provider of ethanol to international and regional markets.
Meanwhile, the administration has also expressed general concern over the quality of journalism which is being displayed by the now tabloid-like Kaietuer News which it believes is aimed at tarnishing the track record of government, while at the same time creating a false impression that there is a lack of accountability and transparency in various government projects and deals.
“It must be recalled that similar accusations were made in relation to the impending project to modernise and expand the airport, the plan to construct the Marriot Hotel and the ongoing One Laptop per Family project. In all of these cases, the accusation of lack of transparency was refuted. All of these projects were developed through a public procurement process,” the release noted.
The Office of the President has also rejected the Glenn Lall owned newspaper’s general rhetoric about “Jagdeo’s secret deals”, noting that all of these projects that were negotiated seek to fast track the country’s development and will benefit thousands of Guyanese in both tangible and intangible ways.
Lall, who was described as someone with a sketchy past by a U.S. wikileaks cable, had announced publicly that he would be making starling announcements and disclosures about several alleged secret deals that were signed by former President Bharrat Jagdeo but has so far failed miserably to bring any of these secret deals to the public limelight or present any iota of evidence to suggest the same.
One of the high ranking government officials who requested anonymity said that it would interesting to see what evidence the Kaietuer News would mount to convince people that it has some sort of creditability to prove that the recent Ansa McAl deal was secretly negotiated by government, were it to accept the administration’s challenge.