The Guyana government on Saturday denied inking a secret deal for the Trinidad and Tobago-headquartered Ansa McAl Group to build an ethanol project on 110,000 hectares of virgin land.

Word of the project only came to light last week when the Trinidad Guardian reported that the agreement was signed last September to process up to 2,000,000 tons sugarcane per year produce 40 million gallons of ethanol annually.

But the Donald Ramotar administration said Ansa Mc Al’s selection was done by the United States-based company, Numark Associates Inc, which won a publicly tendered service consultancy to expand bio-energy opportunities in Guyana.

“To suggest this was a secret deal is not only misleading but a gross misrepresentation of the reality and part of the continued campaign to cast aspersions on the PPP/C (Peoples Progressive Party Civic) Government,” according to a statement issued through the state-run Government Information Agency (GINA).

Government explained that the genesis of the memorandum of understanding with Ans Mc Al actually dates back to August 2007 when a forum on Bio Energy Opportunities in the Caribbean was held. That forum resulted in the Inter American Development Bank (IDB) partnering with the Guyana government through a technical cooperation to expand bio energy opportunities here.

According to government, based on the NUMARK report and the proposals received from investors, ANSA McAl was selected after their proposal was scrutinized by technical experts in the field of bio energy, which was subsequently approved and signed on September 30, 2011 and witnessed by representatives of the government and ANSA McAL.

The Ansa Mc Al deal is the second major project in recent months that Guyanese have had to learn of via a newspaper report in a sister Caricom member-nation- in this case the Trinidad Guardian. The first was the awarding of a US$138 million contract to a Chinese firm to expand the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri, as reported here in the Jamaica Gleaner.

But the Guyana government has insisted that those and other projects like the plan to construct the Marriot Hotel and the on-going One Laptop per Family project are above board.

“All of these projects were developed through a public procurement process. The Government challenges any publication or political group to show where these projects were done in secret and not consistent with our various laws and regulations,” added the statement.

source: demerarawaves

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