Affiliate: National Milling Company of Guyana Inc. (Namilco Guyana)
Location: Guyana, South America, along the East Bank of the Demerara River. Guyana is known as the Land of Many Waters and characterized by several large rivers.
Year opened: May 1969, Namilco will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of their operations in the coming year (2019).
Products/Services offered by Namilco:
Our products include a range of Wheaten Flours, which are sold under two main brands: Thunderbolt flour (bakers and all purpose) and Maid Marian, which comprises a range of convenient mixes (reflecting indigenous recipes, like Roti Mix, Pholourie Quick Mix and Parsad Mix) and Health line products e.g., Multigrain flour, Toasted Wheat Germ, Wheat-Up, Creamed Wheat –Up baby cereal). In addition to the by-product, we offer prepared animal feed. We recently launched our Vanilla Flavoured Cake Flour. This has been receiving good reviews since its introduction.
Normal day at Namilco:
Namilco receives raw material via ocean going vessels from the USA and Canada at its dock on the East bank of the Demerara River. These vessels are unloaded via suction or grabs. Production is done in three eight hour shifts, with the Mill operating 24 hours per day, five days per week with scheduled maintenance on Saturdays. Packing is done during two 12-hour shifts per day. The mill has a capacity of 240 tons per day. Deliveries are mainly from the mill to the customers who pick up at the location and a network of distributors who truck produce to designated geographical areas. Distributors are used mainly to capture markets in the areas not covered by the wholesalers, and to market all our range of products. The Distributors are offered discounted prices instead of retail at our factory price. Some products are delivered from a remote warehouse in Lethem, near the Brazil border. There are exports via trucks, containers or ships that go mainly to Brazil, Suriname and the Caribbean.
How many employees/collaborators work at Namilco?
We have 125 full time colleagues, along with casuals who assist with projects and vessel unloading. Altogether, we keep the operations of Namilco humming on a daily basis.
What are the typical daily challenges Namilco faces?
The daily challenges include: torrential rains, which often impact outdoor activities like wheat discharge and make secure covered storage of great importance, traffic congestion on the access road, limited space given growth and expansion over the years (for warehousing and offices, and limited draft in the Demerara river allowing only vessels with up to 10,000 MT of cargo to discharge at our dock.
What is the latest project or improvement Namilco went through?
Namilco is in the process of completing an upgrade of its IT infrastructure and ERP systems (NAVISION & EAM) to facilitate more efficient reporting.
Process improvements were implemented to facilitate the facility by successfully completing the YUM! Certification process, and now complying with requirements to be able to sell products to KFC, Pizza Hut and among others.
Also, the Wheat Intake section was upgraded and a scale was installed for better raw material handling. The Wharf was upgraded to provide safe mooring for larger vessels (140 meters by 25 meters) to and improve the efficiency of the vessel unloading process by changing from the use of suction to using grabs for discharge, thereby saving energy and increasing intake capacity.
Are there any new projects developing in Namilco soon, if so can you provide details about them?
Yes, plans are being made for the installation of a new mill to increase production capacity to 300 MT per day in order to increase efficiencies and reduce costs (energy, labor, etc.). This is expected to be implemented by 2020.
Namilco also aims to have a flour blending plant with the new mill. The purpose is to be able to facilitate the ever increasing demand from customers for their own individual flour blend. This will also allow for further increases in the already versatile range of value added products.
What makes Namilco unique or different to others?
Namilco has an unique range of differentiated products tailored to the needs of the Guyanese consumer. In addition, unlike many other Seaboard mills, Namilco has a wide variety of value added products in different package sizes. We try to meet all customer needs no matter the size of the orders.
What was the last social event, gathering, or celebration you had at Namilco?
Employees get together annually to celebrate at their Staff Party and an Annual Family Fun Day is also hosted at a location where the entire family can be engaged and entertained. Employees also impact the community through Peer Group Activities including medical outreaches, health screenings and testings.
We collaborate with neighboring companies in conducting our annual International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS) exercise, which allows for the testing of various areas of the Port Facility Security Plan. Most recently (Feb 15, 2018,) a comprehensive exercise entitled, ‘Thunderboom!’ was carried out and involved representatives of the Guyana Police Force, Guyana Fire Service, Coast Guard, Marine Police, Ambulance and Guyana Energy Agency, as well as neighboring entities, SOL, Rubis and Falls Gas Station.
Annual holiday party and Annual Fun Day:
Farewell to Albert Packwood- Sanitarian and longest serving employee of Namilco Guyana:
Namilco Representatives (R. “Bert” Sukhai, Managing Director, Samantha Shiwbaran, Quality Coordinator and Ralf Hemsing, Operations Manager) receiving the Gold Manufacturer National Quality Award for 2017 from the Guyana National Bureau of Standards and R. Sukhai receiving the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association Award in recognition quality certifications achieved from the British High Commissioner, Gregory Quinn:
Footage from Operation Thunderboom:
Peer Group and Health Screening Activities:
How’s life in Guyana? Weather, economy, infrastructure, traffic, government, society, etc.?
Guyana is hot (25 degrees C and above) 365 days of the year with two seasons – wet and dry. Recently, large oil reserves were discovered and commercial drilling is scheduled to commence in 2020. In addition, vehicles have outgrown the available roads in and around the city causing daily traffic jams. So, there is need for new and improved infrastructure including roads and bridges. However, the natural beauty of its inter-lands, diversity of flora, fauna and wildlife is unrivaled.
What is special about Guyana? Touristic spots or interesting things to see and do, etc.
Guyana is home to the Kaieteur Falls – the world’s largest single drop waterfall by volume of water, which is one of the many reasons for it to be seen and explored.
Also, the biodiversity of the Amazon rainforests along with many indigenous people who are careful to preserve their culture and live in harmony with their environmen. It has many interesting species of animals including: manatees, giant turtles, giant otters, toucans jaguars, pumas, tapirs, caimans, variety of fish, amphibians and reptiles, many of them endemic to this country.
The cultural diversity comprised of Indo and Afro-Guyanese food and practices along with the indigenous (Amerindian groups) and the significant influence of Brazilian and Surinamese neighbors. As well as the influence of former Dutch, British and French occupation results in unique, architecture, street and village names and layout of communities. The capital, Georgetown is actually below sea-level and protected by a seawall and network of canals (reflecting the Dutch influence,) which creates a unique, green ambiance.