Investors walking away from “scrap iron” sugar estates -Finance Minister

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 June 2019, 7:24 by Writer

Finance Minister, Winston Jordan says investors have been walking away from buying any of the four shuttered sugar estates, an indication that Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo is fooling supporters that the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) will reopen them if his party wins the next general elections.

“How you are going to open back those four estates that is scrap iron and who will be working them? The people, who put in bids for those four estates, many of them walked after they saw the conditions of them. They said but what is it you all selling us? This is scrap iron,” he told a government outreach meeting at Bartica on Tuesday.

He said the investors told government representatives that if they bought those estates, they would have to “rip up” the existing equipment and construct new factories. “Those things have been there. They worked themselves to the bone. They have been there since the early 20th century or before. Very little maintenance has been done over the last fifteen to twenty years so is scrap iron you’re buying,” said Jordan.

The Finance Minister characterised Jagdeo’s promise to reopen the Skeldon, Rose Hall-Canje, East Demerara and Wales sugar estates as fake. “He telling them that he going to reopen those estates but, Comrade, this comes down to the question are you going to trust those people?”

Other PPP promises, he suggested, the electorate should reject include one offering 50,000 jobs.

Recently, the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited’s Special Purpose Unit (NICIL-SPU) announced that a consortium of Ghanaian, Guyanese and Indian businessmen were poised to purchase the Rose Hall Estate by July, 2019.

Managing Director of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Wilfred Bhagaloo, whose entity has conducted valuation of assets of the state-owned Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), said the investors plan to continue sugar production and manufacture inputs for cosmetics and liquid sugar.