First Bauxite LLC (FBX) has indicated to government that it would build an aluminium smelter in Guyana if natural gas, a cheap source of electricity generation, could be brought from hydrocarbon fields located offshore, Finance Minister Winston Jordan said.
“They said if we can bring natural gas in sufficient quantities, they are prepared to put a smelter right there in Guyana,” he said at the turning-of-the-sod for two hotels at former sugarcane estate lands at Ogle, East Coast Demerara.
Jordan made the announcement as FBX prepares to commission its bauxite mine this week at Bonasika, Upper Demerara River. He noted that the company is very impressed with the high quality of bauxite that is available at Bonasika. “It is the finest bauxite that they have worked with. When you go there, you’ll see it. Superb! Superb! Iron ore-little,” he remarked.
The Guyana Power and Light recently purchased generation sets valued at US$41 million that could use natural gas to generate cheaper electricity for the Demerara-Berbice interconnected system.
Government and ExxonMobil are yet to finalise arrangements for the extraction and shipment of natural gas to shore and already a location at Mahaicony had been identified to set up a natural gas plant.
For its part, ExxonMobil had made it clear that its primary use of natural gas is for reinjection into the oil well to sustain pressure needed for crude oil extraction.
First Bauxite says it is a natural resource company engaged in the exploration and development of bauxite deposits in Guyana, South America. Its wholly owned subsidiary, Guyana Industrial Minerals Inc (GINMIN), is the mining arm producing washed bauxite at the rate of 30,000 metric tonnes per month.