In April this year, a directive came down from the US government that said in part “The US Government sanctions require that all companies doing business with those that have been sanctioned wind down operations by October 23, or they themselves will be sanctioned.
Oleg Deri-paska the owner of Olen-Dorff Carriers, was one of the Russian oligarchs who was sanctioned by the Trump Administration, earlier this year.
The shipping company is contracted by Bauxite company to transport bauxite from the mine areas near Aro-ai-ma and load it on ships at the mouth of the Berbice River.
In June, after the sanctions, officials of the Oldendorff company met with the Chief Labour Officer, Charles Ogle, and explained that they would compensate all their Guyanese workers that are likely to be laid off.
However, in what might be a stroke of luck, on Tuesday last, the Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, told Cabinet that RUSAL, the company that actual mines the Bauxite, was engaged in the sourcing of an alternative shipping company and that a number of companies have signalled their interest.
Over the 12 years of operating in Guyana, it is reported that Oldendorff has employed and trained more than 250 persons from the Berbice area.
While the US deadline to cease operations with those companies sanctioned is just another 2 weeks away, Trotman said that there is a window of hope that the situation would normalise.
The Minister of Natural Resources had said there was no CREDIBILITY to reports in the local media which suggested that RUSAL intended to close operations. The challenge was only with the shipping aspect of the bauxite operation.