PPP, APNU+AFC aware of ExxonMobil’s new headquarters deal- Routledge

Last Updated on Thursday, 9 February 2023, 20:34 by Denis Chabrol

The ExxonMobil complex under construction at Ogle. (Picture handout by Ganesh Mahipaul)

Even as the National Assembly awaits replies from Natural Minister Vickram Bharrat to an opposition coalition question in the National Assembly about who would be paying for ExxonMobil’s just under US$160 million new headquarters at Ogle and how spending on the project is being monitored, a top company official on Thursday said both major political parties were aware of the deal.

“The cost will be recovered in the cost recovery mechanism. That’s been clear all the way along with the previous administration and with the current administration as we set up the project,” President of ExxonMobil Guyana, Alistair Routledge told a news conference at his Kingston, Georgetown office which he said is “straining at the seams.”  The rented Duke Street office of the operator in the Stabroek Block is accommodating over 200 workers while the new  one at Ogle, East Coast Demerara is designed to accommodate about 500 persons.

The International Oil Company (IOC) official said the Ministry of Natural Resources was monitoring spending on the project as there are benchmarks and “we do monthly reporting to the minister on the construction cost.” “It’s very competitive locally and even internationally on the efficiency of the development,” he said.

Mr Routledge’s provision of the information at the news conference was in line with a two-part question by opposition A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Ganesh Mahipaul to the Natural Resources Minister in the National Assembly.  The opposition lawmaker wants to know if the cost for the ExxonMobil Office Campus is cost recoverable and, if “yes”, what is the total cost for the ExxonMobil Office Campus and what real-time monitoring mechanisms are in place to ensure costing are not overpriced.

Mr Routledge said the headquarters being constructed on 15 acres of land in the vicinity of the Eugene F. Correia ‘Ogle’ International Airport would include all of the required technology on one floor, control rooms and facilities to monitor the offshore operations via fibre optic connectivity.  “This is a fit for purpose development….It is very much a part of the offshore operations,” he said.

Then Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo had in 2020 ruled out Guyana paying for the construction of the ExxonMobil complex at Ogle if workers were going to be living in it.

The building is expected to be finished by 2024.