Guyana is expecting to access an advance to a US$20Million Wold Bank loan to build capacity in the oil and gas industry by June.
Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, said the government will like to access an advance of US$1.7Milion but needed to “urgently” establish a Project Implementation Unit (PIU).
The PIU, spearheaded by the Ministry of Natural Resources, must include a coordinator, financial director and have procurement capacities among other requirements. “Once those are in place we can receive the advance, and the larger tranche [portion] will be forthcoming towards the end of the year”, Minister Trotman explained.
The loan will be used to build oil and gas capacity in three important areas. “Strengthening the regulatory framework, working with the government on the issues of bringing the gas to shore and the other one is just general capacity building,” he further explained.
Funds will also be used to build the capacity of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and other institutions that will monitor cost recovery and similar measures in the oil and gas industry.
Today, Minister Trotman and Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources Simona Broomes met with the World Bank’s Country Director for Caribbean Countries and Latin America, Tahseen Sayed, along with other technical experts to discuss the loan which was secured by Minister of Finance Winston Jordan.
Sayed noted that the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) has “significantly increased more than three folds the allocation for Guyana” from mid-2018. IDA is the concessional financing window of the World Bank.
Guyana’s allocations now stand at US$85Million over a three-year period Sayed explained. The US$20Million loan is part of this allocation, she added.
The World Bank has been working with the Ministry of Finance to support micro-fiscal and financial sector reforms “which we believe are extremely important to anchor the boom of the oil discovery that is coming to Guyana” Sayed noted.
Minister Trotman stated that the World Bank will be the country’s primary financial institution in the development of the oil and gas industry.
By Tiffny Rhodius