Rusal scales back on bauxite shipments out of Guyana

first_imgUS sanctions on Russian tycoon…potentially devastating blow to industry – JagdeoAs the United States (US) sanctions against Russian business tycoon Oleg Deripaska, who is the main owner of the EN+ conglomerate, which is the co-owner of Rusal begins to sink in, the local operation in Guyana has significantly scaled back on its exportation of bauxite. This is according to President of the Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union (GBGWU) Lincoln Lewis.Lincoln LewisRusal is one of the largest aluminum producers in the world and has operations here in Guyana in the form of the Bauxite Company of Guyana Incorporated (BCGI), employing over 500 persons. According to reports, the sanctions against Rusal have caused aluminum prices to surge since the sanctions freeze all of the company’s assets under the US jurisdiction.Lewis, in a telephone interview on Saturday with Guyana Times said the Union is still analysing the implications of the sanctions in the Guyana context and would be requesting a meeting with the Natural Resources Minister in the coming days.“We have to make an assessment of how the sanctions will impact Guyana as a country and the effect it will have on Rusal’s operations here. We are monitoring the operations of Rusal and what we do know is Rusal has virtually scaled back on their shipment of bauxite out of Guyana,” Lewis said.“We have to continue to analyse the situation and right now we will be seeking a meeting with the Government. As a matter of fact, on Monday we will be dispatching a letter to the Ministry (of Natural Resources) to have a meeting with the Minister and see how we will move forward,” Lewis added.When contacted, a senior manager at Rusal again said they are yet to receive word from their Moscow Headquarters as it relates to their operations but did confirm the company has scaled back on its exportation of bauxite.Devastating blowMeanwhile, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo at a press briefing on Friday said a “potentially devastating blow” could be dealt to the bauxite workers, particularly those in the Berbice River area.“We are talking about over 900 people who may be depending on how the issues go and from what I understand it is really those jobs that are all seriously threatened, and this is because of the consequences of the US sanctions on Rusal. So many of the companies with which they are engaging, particularly the transhipment company have already signalled reluctance to continue to service the operations,” he said.“Our Government is silent on it. Our President would fly off to London and leave the fate of thousands in uncertainty, so it would affect New Amsterdam as well as the Berbice River and all of Region 10,” Jagdeo added.Meanwhile, Oldendorff Carriers, which handles the shipping logistics for Rusal has reportedly given noticed to withdraw its service as a result of the sanction. Oldendorff Carriers is located in the Berbice River. However, the company has recently announced that transshipment arrangements with Bauxite Company of Guyana Inc remains intact.Deripaska has also been charged in US special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation regarding Russia’s involvement in the 2016 US presidential election.Last week, the US Treasury Department announced the sanctions against seven Russian oligarchs, 12 companies they either owned or controlled and 17 senior Government officials, who Washington said were profiting from the Russian Government’s engagement in “a range of malign activities” around the world.The Treasury Department warned that US entities would be “generally prohibited” from dealings with the persons and firms on the sanctions list, while added that companies outside the United States could face sanctions for “knowingly facilitating significant transactions for or on behalf of” the sanctioned entities.The US Government’s decision to include Deripaska on its sanctions blacklist will reverberate around the world because his business empire has a global footprint and counts major multinationals as partners.Deripaska, estimated by Forbes magazine to have a net worth of $6.7 billion, is the main owner of the conglomerate EN+, which in turn is the co-owner of some of the world’s biggest metals producers – Rusal and Nornickel.Deripaska’s inclusion on the US sanctions list could potentially create complications too for companies with which he does business; including German car giant Volkswagen and commodities trader Glencore.Rusal had said it regretted its inclusion on the US sanctions list, adding that its advisors were studying the situation. Hong Kong-listed Rusal is one of the world’s biggest aluminium producers. It says exports to the United States account for over 10 per cent of its output.Rusal owns assets in Italy, Ireland, Sweden, Nigeria, Guyana and Guinea. It owns a stake in Australian QAL, the world’s top alumina refinery.last_img read more

SOCU playing duplicitous game with Demerara River crossing probe – Jagdeo

first_img…says LGE important, referendum to express dissatisfactionOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Wednesday told a group of supporters on the West Bank of Demerara that the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) is playing a duplicitous game with investigations as it relates to the way in which the consultancy contract was awarded for the construction of the new Demerara River crossing.Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo speaking at one of the meetings on the West Bank of Demerara on Wednesday“SOCU is playing a duplicitous game with (Public Infrastructure Minister David) Patterson because they have not called him in as yet and we will push hard for the entire Cabinet to go in (to SOCU),” he told the gathering at Independence Street, La Grange, West Bank Demerara.The contract in question was awarded to Dutch company, LievenseCSO, for a feasibility study into the new Demerara River bridge crossing. The Opposition had requested that the Public Procurement Commission investigate the award of the $148 million sole sourced contract.In its report on the matter, the Commission flagged Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson for requesting from Cabinet that the contract be sole sourced, instead of being processed through the Procurement Board as the law says should be done. It was subsequently announced that SOCU would be investigating the contract award.Public Infrastructure Minister David PattersonFollowing that, the PPP forwarded the matter to SOCU for them to investigate. Thus far, Minister Patterson has provided statements to SOCU but has never been summoned to be questioned as is the case with several of the Opposition Members as the investigation into Pradoville continues.Jagdeo, on Wednesday, held a series of meetings with the residents along the West Bank of Demerara as he presented the Party’s candidates and their plans for the November 12 Local Government Elections.At the La Grange meeting, the PPP General Secretary spoke boisterously about their plans for the Local Authority Area with the main item on the agenda being the refusal of any increased taxes.“We have a message for everyone and it is all about progress and working for a better future for all our people and really meaning,” he said, while calling on the residents to aid in getting the Party’s plans out there.He said the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Administration is out of touch with the reality of what is happening in Guyana since they are all living the good life while the common man has to be continuously fighting for what they deserve. He spoke at length about increased taxes that burdens the common man and provides additional revenue for the Government to waste.Head of SOCU, Sydney James“Over $30 billion in increased taxes to the common man. People in the hinterland have to pay an increase $1.3 billion because they put the VAT on so many things. We (the PPP) had said that because life in the Hinterland is so hard that they can bring in items such as soft drinks and water and so on tax free but this Government taxes that now. They have to pay $5000 more per barrel for fuel, $300 for water and $500 for water,” Jagdeo said.At the Patentia Tarmac, the Opposition Leader told a crowd that despite being in office for three and a half years, the APNU/AFC Government remains wasteful. He identified that every sector of the economy is being rapidly declining, adding that the country is still mourning the death of the sugar industry.“We had said and I will say it again that when the PPP gets back in office we will provide a stipend to every laid off sugar worker, while we find jobs for them,” he said, to loud cheers from many of the former Wales Estate workers.He reiterated that not only the sugar workers are affected by the estates closure, rather it is the wider communities as well since businesses depended on their earnings as well. He said during his meeting is Canal, people complained of having to pull their children out of school because they can no longer afford to send them all because they had to quit care farming following the closure of the Wales Estate.“I never thought we would have gone back to the days of hunger but I’ve seen people gone back to hunger because I know as a boy how it was. I thought we have gone a long way in eliminating hunger. They killed the momentum in the economy growth,” he noted.The party leader called on his supporters to reject the APNU/AFC Government in their large numbers because that will send a message that they are exhausted with the constant promises and very little delivery.“We can only reduce the hardships if we participate in the Local Government Elections… this is an important referendum to send a signal to the Government that we are abhor to their national policies… we have to come out in our numbers… we have to crush them in a massive way so they can see the writing on the wall,” Jagdeo urged.Meanwhile, Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) parliamentarian Irfaan Ali said they are embarking on a very important journey by contesting LGE as it is one step to ensuring that the PPP is returned to Government. He expounded on the importance of the elections by urging persons to come out in their numbers and vote for the cup.Also, most of the constituency candidates presented their plans for their respective constituencies which includes improved drainage and better infrastructure within their communities. The Local Government Elections is slated for November 12.last_img read more

LGE results already a vote of no-confidence in APNU/AFC – Jagdeo

first_img…PPP’s 45,000 margin equals 9 seatsEven though the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has filed a no- confidence motion against the Government, the Party believes the coalition’s losses at the Local Government Elections (LGE) are the public’s own vote of no confidence.In an interview with Guyana Times, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo explained that his party has observed the dissatisfaction of the people, and as such, took action as the people’s representatives. “People spoke about this. They’re very dissatisfied, through the election results,” Jagdeo said. “And we’re just bringing that dissatisfaction, their voice, to the National Assembly, to say to the Government we’re dissatisfied with the direction the country is going in.”“So win or lose, the country will benefit from this. Because it will force this Government to sit up and take notice that we are unhappy with the visionless policies that they’re practising and that they’re harming our future,” he added.Jagdeo had first announced the no-confidence motion during his Thursday press conference right after it was clear that the people had repudiated the coalition Government. The next day, the scheduled sitting of the National Assembly was abruptly cancelled at Government’s request and the Opposition turned up to an empty chamber. At the half empty Parliament chambers, he reiterated some of his expectations regarding the motion.“We have already succeeded, by filing this motion and getting this Government to sit up and notice these issues we are dissatisfied with. And we believe this will force them, if the PPP fails to secure the majority in the house, to take cognisance of the reasons why we are filing the no-confidence motion. And it will force them to bring a better budget… We’d like to see the restoration of the children grant. The same money they’ve increased food in Government by, they can give the children the $10,000 grant. It’s a matter of priorities. They should restore water subsidies for pensioners. reverse the VAT on electricity, water, medical supplies, food, and machinery,” he added.Jagdeo had noted that some other measures he wants the Government to take is to reduce excise taxes, reverse the increases in land fees for Mahaica/Mahaicony/Abary (MMA) farmers… increases the farmers have still been unable to meet.Better governanceIn a published advertisement, the PPP went into further details on their reasons for filing the motion, and which were the concrete reasons for the peoples’ rejection of the People’s National Congress-led coalition. It pointed to the thousands of jobs that have been lost as a result of the closure of Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) estates.In addition, the Party referred to the various scandals that have erupted under the Administration. They include the single sourcing of the feasibility contract for the new Demerara River crossing, the single sourcing of a drugs bond and the single sourcing of drug procurement contracts.The Party noted the numerous breaches of fiscal laws flagged by the Audit Office of Guyana in its reports, as well as the lack of accountability in the D’Urban Park project; something even the Auditor General had to launch a special probe into.The depletion of Guyana gold and foreign reserves was also highlighted. In fact, a report from the Central Bank earlier this year had indicated that Guyana’s net foreign reserves, held by the Bank in foreign currency notes; has fallen to its lowest point since 2008.Tax collection has increased dramatically; a point alluded to by the Party. This publication had reported findings from the recently released 2017 Auditor General report, which had showed that the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) collected more taxes than was even anticipated.In the End of Year Budget and Reconciliation Report, it noted that the projected revenue for 2017 was $186 billion. Instead, Government actually collected $195 billion in current revenue. This includes duties, levy, personal income and withholding taxes.Court settlements since the coalition Government took office were also zeroed in on by the Party. The Attorney General’s Chambers has come under much criticism for not being able to secure success for several cases against the State.Since taking office, in addition to losing cases, Government has opted to enter into out-of-court settlements. These settlements included sums to the tune of US$5.7 million; $226 million and $3.8 billion.Following the motion, the Government side gathered on Friday afternoon for a meeting chaired by Prime Minister and acting President Moses Nagamootoo to discuss the move.The postponed sitting has meanwhile been rescheduled for Monday.last_img read more

Dreher back on the course for Stage III of Q-School

first_imgDreher begins the five round tournament on the course’s Legends Course, and started her first round today at 9:17 a.m. ET.She began her tournament on the first hole in group #37, along side P.K. Kongkraphan of Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, as well as Lacey Agnew of Jonesboro, Georgia.It’s a big weekend for Dreher, who is playing for her second straight LPGA membership, earning her first membership at last year’s 2011 Q-School qualifying tournament.- Advertisement -Players who finish the tournament within the top 40 rankings, as well as those tied for 40 place receive LPGA memberships for the 2013 LPGA Tour season. All other players competing in Stage III will receive Symetra Tour Memberships.last_img read more

Home opener tonight for the Flyers as they welcome the Pirates

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Flyers are set to host their home opener at the North Peace Arena tonight as they welcome the Falher Pirates to town.The Flyers are coming off a come from behind victory over the Pirates last Thursday. And this time around should have a full have a full roster hitting the ice. General Manager Lee Hartman said, “Last week we had two defencemen play in the game. The other four had to work or had other commitments to attend to. We will have a full complement of players tonight for the first time all season.”Tonight’s game at the North Peace Arena gets underway at 8:30 p.m.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Project Porchlight Lightens Electrical Bills

first_imgResidents in the northeastern corner of the province can expect a hand with their outdoor lighting scheme this October.Project Porchlight is an initiative to increase use of compact fluorescent lightbulbs across the country. The group is hoping to distribute 20,000 free lightbulbs door-to-door from Chetwynd to Fort Nelson.Julia Milliken with the organization says that the lightbulbs won’t just save electricity; they’ll also save homeowners money. [asset|aid=241|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=Julia Milliken_1_Pub.mp3]- Advertisement -Project Porchlight is looking for volunteers in the area. More information is available at www.projectporchlight.com.last_img read more

Meet the Environmental Health Officer – Submitted

first_img– Advertisement -Have you ever taken a look around a restaurant and thought, “This place could use a good cleaning!”? Or perhaps your reaction was, “Wow, this place is so clean I would eat off the floor!” There are many areas an EHO’s work covers, but they all centre around keeping the public safe and healthy. A major component of the job is food inspections; from restaurant kitchens, to supermarkets, to the little vendor on the corner each summer. They are responsible for ensuring that any potentially hazardous food is handled in a manner promoting food safety. But that’s just one of their important roles.Advertisement You’ve heard of them; maybe seen them portrayed on TV or in a movie; perhaps you’ve actually met an Environmental Health Officer in person.  If that’s the case, you may already know that they do a lot more than just food inspections. The health and safety of drinking water supplies and recreational water operations are also a top priority and area of responsibility for an EHO. That includes everything from ensuring the safety of drinking water sources, to inspecting public pools, hot tubs and in some cases, beaches. Sarah NicklasonEnvironmental Health OfficerNorthern Health **SubmittedMeet the Environmental Health Officer Either way, you may also have wondered just whose responsibility it is to make sure that commercial kitchen operators maintain clean facilities, follow food safety rules, and practice good food hygiene. In BC, these people are called Environmental Health Officers (EHO) – in other jurisdictions, they are often called Public Health Inspectors. EHOs also inspect personal service facilities, for cleanliness and the prevention of health hazards. A personal service could range from a barber shop to a manicure facility to a tattoo parlour. That’s a lot of inspections! But that’s still not all an EHO does. Other tasks include making  recommendations on approvals of subdivisions; issuing holding tank permits; following up communicable disease and food borne illness reports; emergency preparedness; risk assessments;  complaint follow-up; health hazard investigations, and, educating the public on any and all of these topics.Advertisement For more information about environmental public health related issues, contact your local health unit and ask to speak to an Environmental Health Officer. And the next time you’re in your favourite restaurant, take a look around for a food permit. It’s your way of knowing the EHO has already been there, working to protect your health! Summer camps and industrial camps are also inspected on a routine basis.  Each camp must pass a food, drinking water and general camp inspection as well as have appropriate sewage disposal. last_img read more

Flyers win wild one in Spirit River

first_imgBut, before the final horn sounded, there would be one more fight, between Tyler Loney and Trevor Mazurek.  The two had tried to scrap late in the second, but the fight never really developed before they crashed to the ice, and the referee assessed the pair only minor penalties, allowing them to stay in the game, and have one more crack at some fisticuffs.  After the game, Loney said was glad the ref allowed them to come back and finish what they had started.  “We played in midget against each other, so it’s just an ongoing battle,” adding “He doesn’t mind that stuff, and I sure don’t.”Likewise, coach Adam Brash wasn’t too surprised with the physicality of the game.  “You always expect coming to Spirit River it’s going to be a physical game – anything can break out at any time.”  But, Brash was more than happy to have a fight on his hands.  “We’re all competitors, and you want to compete every night, and if that means the gloves come off, then that happens.”  “It was a great team-builder for us,” he added, “We needed this.”In the end, the final score was 9-6 in favor of the Flyers.  The total penalty minutes between the two teams was close to 300.  And there was plenty of bad blood remaining for a potential semi-final matchup between the two teams. Listen to this highlights package Advertisement [asset|aid=907|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=f1924b186f14c879a57e07bae7643abe-Flyers win 9-6 over the Spirt River Navigators_1_Pub.mp3]And so, the NPHL regular season comes to a close.  The Flyers finish the season with a 24-1-1 record, and will await the winner of the first round mini-series between Valleyview and Lakeland. Flyers win 9-6 over the Spirit River RangersTo call Saturday night’s Flyers / Rangers game dramatic and intense would be underselling it.  On the opening faceoff, Spirit River’s Shane McCormick went after David Alexander, leading to 14 minutes in penalties for each player.  By the end of the first, more than 100 minutes in penalties had been assessed.  And there were also seven goals.Craig Venhola opened the scoring, firing a point shot past Troy Hunt, to give the Rangers a lead, just 30 second in.  The Flyers would fight back, with 3 in a row, from Jeff Shipton, and a pair from Jeff Fast.   Goals from Mike Lefley and Mark Wallman would get Spirit River back to even, but before the first was over, Clayton Bahm put the Flyers back in front.- Advertisement -In the second, tempers continued to boil over, and 3 of the games 4 fights broke out.  Aaron Scheppers fought with DJ Barbarich, Matt Shuya took exception to a hit from behind from Colin Lefley, and dropped with gloves with Lefley, and David Alexander stuck up for his cousin Todd, after Todd took a nasty high-stick from Chad Wilchynski, though Wilchynski seemed uneager to fight.  By the time the second period was over, there were 224 minutes in penalties on the scoresheet.  3 players from each team had been thrown out of the game.  And, while Todd Alexander got a concussion from the Wilchinski high-stick, Matt Shuya got a broken nose and put his bottom teeth through his bottom lip, and earned a trip to the hospital.There was also more scoring in the second, as the Flyers got goals courtesy of Kip Noble (2), and Mike Shipton, all three of which came on the powerplays assessed to the Rangers for thier stickwork.  Spirit River got just one goal, scored by Mike Lefley, his second of the game.Finally, things settled down in the third, possibly because both teams were getting a little short-benched.  Spirit River looked like they might make a game of it, after scoring two straight goals (Shane McCormick and Trevor Mazurek).  But, within minutes, Kip Noble shelfed a backhander over Rangers goalie Darin Allen, to complete his hat-trick, and put the Flyers back up by 3. Advertisementlast_img read more

Registration underway for Relay for Life

first_imgThe Relay for Life planning committee is looking for groups that are willing to participate in this year’s event.- Advertisement -There are still opportunities to enter a team or join an existing one to help raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society. The 12 hour non-competitive relay is an opportunity to get together and celebrate cancer survivors, remember loved ones, and fight back in the hope of finding a cure.The relay will be held at the Dr. Kearney track from noon until midnight, on May 29th. For more information, contact Christine Whitford at (250)785-0903 or fortstjohnrelay@bc.cancer.caYou can also visit the Relay for Life’s website, by clicking here. By Energeticcity.ca stafflast_img read more

CRA holding HST seminars for businesses

first_imgInterested people are asked to register online. The Canada Revenue Agency will be holding a seminar on Place of Supply Rules on the HST.The free seminar is aimed at businesses that conduct transactions with businesses in other provinces that do not have the HST.The topics will help businesses determine whether GST or HST will have to be charged on transactions between provinces.- Advertisement -One seminar will be held in Fort St. John at the Pomeroy Hotel on Sep. 22 starting at 1:30 p.m. and another will be held in Dawson Creek at the Best Western on Sep. 23 starting at 1:30 p.m.The topics that will be covered are:Place of Supply Rules – Tangible Personal Property (Goods)Place of Supply Rules – Intangible Personal PropertyPlace of Supply Rules – ServicesExceptionsAdvertisementlast_img read more