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Senior Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh on Thursday oversaw the signing of a US$4M Corporate loan agreement between the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)-Invest and John Fernandes Limited for the procurement of Guyana’s second mobile handline crane (MHC) during a virtual ceremony.
The transaction allows for an increase in the quantity of international cargo handled at the port facilities operated by John Fernandes Limited. The IDB noted that currently, all port operations in Guyana rely on crane vessels for loading and discharging containers and that these are less efficient and have less cargo handling capacity than an MHC. As such, with the incorporation of the MHC, JFL would be able to service gearless vessels that can carry a substantially greater amount of cargo and do so more efficiently due to the MHC’s ability to load and discharge containers at a higher rate.
Speaking during the ceremony, Dr. Singh recalled that it was the IDB last October that signed a similar loan agreement of the same cost with Muneshwers Limited for the procurement of Guyana’s first mobile crane. He therefore commended both John Fernandes’ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Philip Fernandes and the IDB Group’s
According to the IDB’s Country Representative Lorena Solorzano Salazar, the transaction will not only support increased cargo handling capacity from the current 33 thousand twenty-foot equivalent unit (“TEUs”) containers per year to 100 thousand TEUs per year in 2032 but also improve the port infrastructure in Guyana and contribute to timely and efficient handling of rising international commerce in the country.
IDB Invest is the private sector arm of the IDB. Its aim is to advance economic development and improve lives by encouraging the growth of the private sector. It offers an array of investment opportunities and provides its clients with customized financing solutions and expert advice, tailored to their specific industry and market.
Attending the signing ceremony were Ms. Lorena Solorzano Salazar IDB Group Country Representative, Guyana (Acting) along with other team members including Mr. Robert Le Hunte, Executive Director for The Bahamas, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago IDB Group, Ms. Jaiwattie Anganu Ramroop, Alternate Executive Director and Mr. James Scriven Chief Executive Officer of IDB Invest. On John Fernandes’ part, accompanying its CEO Mr. Philip Fernandes were other team members including Mr. Michael Xavier, Legal Officer and Mr. Suresh Singh, Senior Accountant.