The Chinese company, Bai Shan Lin, has asked government for a two-year extension before it could begin value-added production but it first has to provide additional information before its request is considered, government said in a statement.
“The Department has not considered the request and has requested information from the company about its proposed business plan and evidence of financing. It is only upon receipt of those documents that such an application can be objectively scrutinised and a decision made about the future of the Company’s operations in Guyana,” said the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment of the Ministry of the Presidency said in a statement.
The disclosure was made by the Department as it sought to put to rest reports that government had granted the extension for two years.
Government said Minister of Governance, Raphael Trotman was misunderstood.
Presidential Advisor on Sustainable Development, Professor Clive Thomas was among those harshly critical of the idea of two-year extension.
The Department said it had taken note of the maelstrom that arose from reports that Government has granted the Baishanlin International Forest Development Incorporated a two year extension to fulfill its obligations, and also, to permission to continue the export of logs as normal.
Both reports are inaccurate and not factual.
By way of clarification, the Department of Natural Resources & Environment said it has not granted the company a two year extension as mistakenly reported in the media, and wishes to advise that the reference to “two years” made by the Minister of Governance was merely to make the public aware that a two-year extension was being sought by the Company.
With regard to the “valid concerns” about the export of logs, the Department advised that the Company has not shipped logs in several months; following an earlier restriction placed on exports.
At the same time government says a large number logs that have been already harvested would have to exported. “However, it must be noted that a large quantity of locust logs remain in a holding area and their quality is rapidly degrading, and while it is expected that a sizeable quantity will be released into the local market for use by furniture manufacturers, it is anticipated that a surplus will remain and this will either be allowed to depreciate further, or have to be exported,” said the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment.
The Department of Natural Resources & Environment says it will endeavour to keep the citizens informed of any further developments.