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Guyana

Muneshwers develops new river terminal

The Guyana company Muneshwers Ltd is completing the first phase a new terminal on the east bank of the Demerara River. The new facility will be able to accommodate vessels up to 275 meters in length and will be aimed primarily at customers in the container and offshore oil and gas sectors.

Known as Muneshwers Port 2 to distinguish it from the company’s existing facility at Water Street in Georgetown (Port 1), the terminal is being built on 28 acres and is expected to cost the family-owned business around US$ 50 million to develop over the next five years.

In May 2014 Muneshwers bought the land just outside Georgetown for US$ 20 million from the defunct forestry business Caribbean Resources with the aim of developing the site into the company’s second port. The purchase was propitious as this was the last major piece of river-facing land available close to Georgetown. The site is more than twice the size of any existing terminal on the Demerara River.

Managing director Robin Muneshwer said: “The first phase is to activate a small portion of the compound, around four acres, as an inland container yard to handle delivery and receipt of full container loads. It is expected to be completed at the end of October. The second phase is the activation of the quay.”

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The approximate dimensions of the property comprise a 275 meter water frontage. The terminal is around 500 meters from the River to the roadway. Using the 275 meters Muneshwers has built a jetty and a quay of 90 meters in length. The jetty and quay are built entirely of prestressed concrete.

The second phase will involve dredging the berth to a depth of 6.5 meters at low tide and should be completed by March 2017.

The third phase will be the development of a pipe lay-down yard of about eight acres and reclamation of one acre of land to link the quay with the yard as one contiguous area. This is expected to be completed in October 2017. This phase is more specific in its purpose and in its configuration for the oil industry and will involve a mud, cement and powder plant, fuel depots and warehousing in the later stages of development.

Future plans

Muneshwers plans to move four reach stackers / top lifters from Port 1 to Port 2. Two of these will be deployed to the second port on completion of Phase 1 to handle full container loads. In addition, there are two fork-lift trucks of 16 tons and 9 tons that are used to handle empty containers at the facility.

Muneshwers is a long-standing agent for Maersk/SeaLand and a key element of the Port 2 project is for the world’s largest carrier to move to the new facility in 2018. Over the longer term, Mr Muneshwer is looking to attract others to use Port 2. He says people in a variety of activities beyond container handling and offshore support – such as rice export, cement bagging and seafood processing – have shown interest.

 

About the company

Muneshwers Ltd is a private, family-owned company now in its third generation. The company began in 1945 as a hardware importer and distributor. Some 70 years later, Muneshwers is one of the largest and most diversified companies in Guyana. It owns and operates one of the leading hardware stores, the number one travel agency and one of Guyana’s most successful port and agency operations. In 2014 Muneshwers made a strategic decision to acquire 28 acres of waterfront property at Houston, East Bank Demerara, with the stated purpose of developing the area both as a container port and as a shore-based support for the nascent oil and gas industry. Muneshwers Shipping has been agent for Maersk/SeaLand since 1998.