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Science institute partners with Pinnacle on energy project

Published:Thursday | October 16, 2014 | 12:00 AM
President of Guyana Donald Ramotar.-File

Guyana's Institute of Applied Science and Technology (IAST) says it has secured US$35 million of investment through a new partnership with Asian-based Pinnacle Green Resources.

Pinnacle is a multinational company based in India and Singapore, but with a presence in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

IAST said the public-private sector partnership will result in the creation of an estimated 500 jobs and take the country closer to adopting a green economy.

In exchange for providing technical and scientific support to Pinnacle, IAST will receive five per cent equity in the project, which includes the construction and operation of a facility that will produce 200 tons of wood-pellets daily for export to Europe.

Through a local vehicle, Pinnacle Green Resources (Guyana) Limited, the Asian company will begin cultivation of a plantation on 5,000 acres of land in the Akawini area of Pomeroon.

Pinnacle has signed a memorandum of understanding with Go-Invest for the lease of the land.

The company will also construct and operate a facility to produce three tonnes per day of activated carbon from coconut shells, primarily to service the gold recovery industry in Guyana.

IAST head, Dr Suresh Narine, said that there is a growing demand for activated carbon both locally and internationally. The product is also used by the beverage and pharmaceutical industries.

Activated carbon is a non-graphite form of carbon which could be produced from any carbonaceous material such as coal, lignite, wood, paddy husk, coir pith and coconut shell. Dr Narine explained that as the coconut industry benefits from investments like these, it should lead to a growth in production.

The third project will see the construction and operation of an 8MW electricity generating facility using bio-mass material.

A study by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has indicated that Guyana has the capacity to generate 300 per cent of its diesel demand equivalent in bio-mass, annually. However, that potential is yet to be fully harnessed.

"This project will not be putting any pressure on our forest," said President of Guyana, Donald Ramotar. The project will be a major boost to residents on the Essequibo coast, which up to now has depended heavily on rice, he said.