RAMPS Logistics is optimistic that a situation which saw its Guyana subsidiary being denied a local content certificate to operate in that country's energy sector will be resolved.
Company CEO Shaun Rampersad expressed this hope at a news conference in Georgetown on Thursday.
In a statement on Wednesday, Ramps said Guyana's recently passed local content act indicates that a company must have a local content certificate to operate in its energy sector.
Ramps' application was made a week ago but was denied. Ramps added that it followed all of the required guidelines to apply for the certificate.
Rampersad reiterated those points on Thursday. He said Ramps has a culture of transparency and it abides fully with Guyana's laws and, against this background, all the information needed to obtain a local content certificate was submitted to Guyana's local content secretariat. Rampersad said this included proof that 51 per cent of the company's Guyana subsidiary, Ramps Guyana, is Guyanese-owned.
He added that Ramps' Guyana subsidiary has also met the requirements for 75 per cent of its managerial staff and 90 per cent of its total staff to be Guyanese nationals.
But despite doing all that was needed of it, he said, Ramps did not get a detailed response from the secretariat about why its application was denied.
"We got stone-cold silence."
Recalling that Ramps has been operating in Guyana since 2013, Rampersad said the company remains committed to investing in Guyana. He attributed that commitment to Guyana's growing attraction as a business hub owing to its emerging energy sector.
He said the company is having conversations with local stakeholders on improvements to air and sea freight into Guyana, both important logistics to help Guyana's energy sector.
Asked about the company's next step, Rampersad said, "We'll continue to do what we're doing. Ramps will continue its efforts to speak with the secretariat and local authorities to resolve this matter."
Expressing confidence in Guyana's legal system, Rampersad said legal action would only be considered as a last resort if all other efforts fail to provide a solution.
With the company employing over 400 workers in Guyana, the majority of them being Guyanese, Rampersad reiterated, "We are committed to invest in Guyana."
He added that the company plans to further expand its Guyana operations over the next three years.
Ramps customers who do business in Guyana are also eager for a resolution, he said.
Rampersad suggested the local content secretariat liaise with foreign companies operating in Guyana to better understand the application process for local content certificates.
He added this was something Ramps would be looking at with respect to its Guyana subsidiary.
Company regional logistics specialist Brandi Archer, who is Guyanese, said she joined Ramps as a sales administrator in 2018 and worked her way up to her current position. Archer thanked Rampersad and other company officials for being a mentor to her and other Guyanese nationals who work for Ramps.
"It hurts to think this could be the end of it. We don't want it to end here."
Archer promised to do what she could to help resolve this matter.
On Wednesday Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat said he was unaware of the decision to deny the licence to Ramps.
“I know they applied but I will have to get the information from the secretariat.
"But if you do not meet the criteria – any company, as a matter of fact, and not Ramps alone, but any company – if they don’t reach the criteria as stated in the legislation, then we can’t approve."