CGX Energy to start dredging, dock construction for port in Guyana -executive

Guyana's booth is seen at the Offshore Technology Conference as Bharrat Jagdeo, the South American nation's vice president, told the conference it would be unfair to ask the developing nation not to develop its burgeoning oil resources, in Houston, U.S., date unknown. REUTERS/Sabrina Valle

GEORGETOWN, Guyana/HOUSTON, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Canada-based oil company CGX Energy (OYL.V) will begin dredging and building the docks of a key deepwater port at Berbice, in eastern Guyana, planned to serve the South American nation's oil and agriculture sectors, the firm's chairman said on Wednesday.

CGX Energy unit Grand Canal Industrial Estates in 2010 acquired a 50-year lease for a 55-acre parcel strategically located near the Berbice River for the project. When complete, it would become Guyana's third oil port and its only deepwater facility.

"The construction of docks and dredging will begin very shortly," said CGX Energy Co-Chairman Suresh Narine. "The works onshore are well advanced," he said, noting a skilled workforce has been hired for building the port.

Contractors are being selected, a process to be followed by construction of onshore buildings. "We are targeting the end of 2022 for the operation of the offshore supply base component of the port," he said.

CGX Energy's parent company Frontera Energy (FEC.TO) late on Wednesday said it anticipates further investments of $5 million to $10 million for the deepwater port project.

The port will mainly serve the oil and gas industry by supplying equipment, fuel, cement, water and power. But it also will have a portion dedicated to agricultural exports, whose production is rapidly expanding in that region of Guyana, and other areas for container ships, cruise ships and specialized cargo.

The facility, which could serve neighboring Suriname, also plans to accommodate imports and exports of agricultural goods transported from Brazil after a road connecting both nations is completed. read more

Besides the port project, CGX Energy and Frontera are drilling for oil in Guyana's offshore Corentyne block, where they announced a discovery of oil and gas resources yet to be measured. read more

The CGX-Frontera joint venture anticipates a second exploration well to be drilled in the second half of the year at Corentyne. The Wei-1 well is under a proposed $110 million-$130 million budget that will require new financing.

Reporting by Sabrina Valle in Georgetown, Guyana, and Marianna Parraga in Houston Editing by Matthew Lewis

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Focused on energy-related sanctions, corruption and money laundering with 20 years of experience covering Latin America's oil and gas industries. Born in Venezuela and based in Houston, she is author of the book "Oro Rojo" about Venezuela's troubled state-run company PDVSA and Mom to three boys.