The Vreed-en-Hoop Shore base Inc (VEHSI) has started installing the quay wall structure on its artificial island in the Demerara River. The first set of sheet piles that were installed will assist to retain and stabilise the structure.
So far, the construction remains on schedule as additional pieces of equipment were taken to the site for the compaction phase. There is a permanent construction presence with work being executed on a 24-hour basis.
This new island is part of the reclaimed land that will be transformed into the estimated 44-acre mega-project to create the shore base facility for ExxonMobil and forms part of Port Vreed-en-Hoop.
However, the dredger, MV Galileo Galilei, will continue the process of adding reclaimed material for the creation of the artificial island on which the new terminal will be constructed.
Phase one of the project is meant to be the special purpose vehicle to serve as a SURF (Subsea Umbilicals, Riser and Flowlines) Shorebase for Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) projects.
To date, the deepening, widening and dredging of the access channel as well as the removal of wreckage were completed. A total of 30km at a 9m depth was dredged starting from the shore base at Vreed-en-Hoop.
Previously, the Channel had a 5m depth at the lowest tide compared to 9m now. Further, the width of the channel was dredged to a whopping 100m which will now accommodate two vessels – one coming out and one going in.
This phase has been hailed a success by the project managers and the upgraded channel has been handed over to the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD)Nevertheless, the project managers have warned that the site remains an active construction zone and landing on the island is prohibited. As such, the public is urged to remain clear of the construction zone and to adhere to the previously issued notices.
According to the project directors, the support and encouragement given by the Government of Guyana have been reassuring and augur well for additional investment and the future of Guyana. The project is expected to become operational in 2023, with the second phase set to commence in 2024.
In April 2022, ExxonMobil Guyana and Vreed-en-Hoop Shore base Incorporated (VEHSI) signed a 20-year agreement for shore base services to be provided at the port of Vreed-en-Hoop facility to support the US oil giant’s operations offshore Guyana. The sod was subsequently turned in June on the US$300 million facility.
VEHSI is a joint venture between a fully-owned Guyanese consortium – NRG Holdings Incorporated, and Jan De Nul Group, the Belgium-based company undertaking the project that specialises in offshore, marine, civil, environment, and project development.
The consortium includes Hadi’s World Inc, owned by businessmen Nazar “Shell” Mohamed and Azruddin Mohamed; Nicholas Boyer and Eddie Boyer of National Hardware Guyana Limited; and Andron Alphonso of ZRN Investments Inc. NRG holds a majority stake of 85 per cent in VEHSI, while the remaining 15 per cent is owned by Jan De Nul – the company that will construct the facility.
At the signing in April 2022, ExxonMobil Guyana President Alistair Routledge stated that this shore base facility would allow the company to do more construction-related works, such as fabrication, right here in Guyana to support its offshore operations.
He explained that Exxon has already invested in the Guyana Shore Base Inc (GYSBI) which has enabled them to bring the supply chain for drilling operations and production operations into Guyana almost completely out of Trinidad.
The multi-million port, when completed, will feature an offshore terminal; fabrication, umbilical and spooling yards; a dry dock facility; a wharf and berths, and administrative buildings, among other facilities spanning 65 hectares.