Leaders of Myer Marine Services and Hargrove Engineers + Constructors, both based in Mobile, have signed a pact with a firm in Guyana that aims to accelerate the growth of the oil and gas sector in the South American nation.
The memorandum of understanding between the Alabama companies and Georgetown, Guyana-based GAICO Construction was signed in August at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.
The aim of the agreement is to facilitate a close collaboration among the companies that will spark the development of projects along the country’s Atlantic coast.
The strategic partnership will enable the transfer of skills and technology to bolster workforce development in Guyana’s growing oil and gas sector, according to OilNow, an online news organization that focuses on Guyana’s oil and gas industry.
“We are thrilled to enter this partnership today with Hargrove and GAICO, and to become an active participant in the growth and development of Guyana,” said David Myer, president of Myer Marine Services. “With our collective experience and broad areas of expertise, the capabilities of this team are endless, and unmatched in Guyana or abroad.
“We are looking forward to what the future holds for this team and for Guyana.”
Ralph Hargrove, president and CEO of Hargrove Engineers + Constructors, also praised the potential of the partnership.
“Hargrove is excited about the opportunity to partner with GAICO and Myer in order to meet the ambitious industrial and infrastructure plans in Guyana while creating skilled employment opportunities for the Guyanese people,” he said.
The Alabama Department of Commerce and the Export Alabama Alliance supported the Mobile companies as the partnership with GAICO was negotiated.
“This is an excellent example of Alabama companies taking advantage of the Export Alabama Alliance and its expertise,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “Myer Marine and Hargrove utilized services of our federal and local partners, and from the state level we were able to provide financial assistance through our State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant.
“They are now poised to take advantage of this unique opportunity,” he said.
Hilda Lockhart, director of the Commerce Department’s Office of International Trade, said Guyana was the only economy in the Caribbean region that expanded in 2020, with a growth rate of 43.5%, driven by the discovery of major crude oil reserves off the coast. Guyana’s GDP is projected to grow by almost 21% in 2021.
Alabama’s trade ties to the country have been modest, according to Commerce data. In 2019, Alabama exported $12.6 million in goods, mostly agricultural products and construction machinery. Exports plummeted in 2020, and two-way trade between Alabama and Guyana totaled around $1 million last year.
Komal Singh, CEO of GAICO Construction, joined Myer and Hargrove last month for the MOU signing ceremony in Houston.
GAICO Construction has expanded its operations to capitalize on growth in Guyana’s petroleum industry. GAICO, which employs more than 100 people across Guyana, is involved in the development of the country’s civil works sector, its marine sector and, mostly recently, the oil and gas sector in the areas of oil spill response and waste management.
“GAICO is honored to be partnering once again with two major American-based companies. This MOU is the beginning of another big step for not only GAICO but also for Guyana, as we are all determined to grow the economy and bringing the professional skills needed, utilizing the private sector,” Singh said.
Myer Marine Services, founded in 2013, has grown to become a premier steel fabrication, machining and field services company. Led by Myer and his sons, Brandon and Bradley, Myer Marine Services offers a full range of services from initial design to installation aboard an offshore drill platform or ship.
Hargrove has considerable experience in the oil and gas sector. It provides project planning, engineering, controls and automation, procurement, construction management and startup services that boost production, enhance operations and add new processes to new and existing facilities.
“We are thrilled to see the partnership between Myer Marine and Hargrove, two outstanding Mobile-based companies,” said Christina Stimpson, director of economic development at the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. “Collectively, their expertise and capabilities will no doubt make them successful as they enter into the Guyanese market.”
The MOU signing was witnessed by Guyana Minister of Foreign Affairs Hugh Todd; U.S. Ambassador to Guyana Sarah Ann Lynch; Go-Invest CEO Dr. Peter Ramsaroop; Paul Cheong, chairman of the Private Sector Commission; Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice President Gerry Gouveia Jr.; and other officials.
The Guyana Office for Investment, the government of Guyana, the U.S. Embassy and Guyana’s private sector helped facilitate the partnership.
This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.