Guyana is considering five proposals for a new refinery, aiming to pick a winner by the end of the first quarter.
The proposed facility, which would have capacity of around 30,000 barrels per day, would be built in the country’s east, at Crab Island.
Guyana received nine offers in response to its request for proposals (RFP). It has narrowed down the field to a potential five offers.
Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance and Public Service Ashni Singh set out the plans in the National Assembly this week. Singh was delivering a presentation on Guyana’s fiscal plan for 2024.
Once the government has made a decision, the “top-ranked contender will undertake an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment [ESIA] at Crab Island for a facility designed to process at least 30,000 bpd,” Singh said.
The cost of construction is expected to be more than $1 billion. Guyana has set out a plan of adding value to its domestic production, while also providing energy security. The investment would also provide benefits to Region Six, where it would build the refinery.
One potential investor named in the local press is the Dominican Republic. Guyana President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali visited the Caribbean state in August 2023 and signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) raising the possibility.
The agreement would see Dominican Republic take a 51% stake in the project. The agreement also mentioned the construction of a petrochemical plant and a study on oil exploration in Guyana.
Guyana signed an MoU with India at the start of 2024, which included potential co-operation in refining.
The refinery RFP offered a 10-year tax holiday and the supply of feedstock from Guyana’s share of production, at market prices.
Singh’s comments come despite some wavering of the topic of building a refinery, from Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo. News reports early this month said Guyana was considering a strategic fuel reserve as an alternative to the construction of a new refinery. “It is the numbers that ultimately will influence the decision”, Oil Now reported Jagdeo as saying.
Singh also mentioned that the 2023 bid round were due to see licences issued “early in 2024”. Guyana expects the country’s three producing FPSOs to average 550,000 bpd in 2024. Production should pass the 600,000 bpd mark by the end of the year.