T&T’s National Energy says low natural gas volume scenarios affected its projects

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Trinidad and Tobago’s State-owned National Energy is said to have only delivered one project in the last twelve years and none in the last five years.

This is according to a report in the Trinidad Guardian on Thursday. Noting that National Energy has as its mandate the conceptualisation, promotion, development and facilitation of energy-based and downstream industries in Trinidad and Tobago, the report said that the only project the company has delivered is the Caribbean Gas Chemicals, methanol to DME plant. The report noted too that the project is yet to export a single metric tonne of methanol some five years after construction started.

“That project was itself embroiled in controversy as it was seen as an attempt by the then People’s Partnership to claim a win before it left office. There were also issues surrounding the gas price, with strong suggestions that it was more favourable than many other companies at the Point Lisas Industrial Estate are now receiving,” the Guardian report stated.

In response to the Guardian’s inquiries, the company said, “In terms of heavy industrial (gas-based) projects, National Energy has facilitated the development of the Gas to Petrochemicals Complex owned by Caribbean Gas Chemical Limited (CGCL). That plant was constructed on the National Energy-owned Union Industrial Estate and is currently in the Commissioning Phase. The value of the capital expenditure for this project is approximately USD 1 Billion.”

It added, “Initially, these industries would have been centred around natural gas, but given the country’s current lower natural gas volume scenario, and in keeping with Vision 2030: The National Development Strategy 2016-2030, National Energy continues to aggressively advance projects on this basis.”

According to the article, Chairman Conrad Enill “admitted that the company had not been able to deliver heavy gas-based projects. Enill reportedly said that a lot of its time over the last five years was spent trying to maintain its ports and facilities and improve efficiency.

“While he promised that there would be a renewed focus for National Energy, he stressed that it would continue to deal with a challenging and changing energy environment, both locally and globally,” the report said.

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