THERE is a crisis in the energy sector in Trinidad and Tobago.
This is the view of former energy minister Kevin Ramnarine after the announcement by Yara Trinidad Limited that it would be closing one of its three ammonia plants on the Point Lisas Industrial Estate.
In an interview with AZPNews, Ramnarine said, “There is a crisis in the energy sector because natural gas production is not recovering as expected and natural gas prices that the National Gas Company (NGC) must pay are much higher.”
He added, “There is a very dark cloud over Point Lisas and Point Fortin. We need immediate policy intervention.”
Ramnarine cited the closure of a number of plants in the energy sector over the last four years:
- One Mittal plant in 2016,
- Two MHTL plants in 2017,
- The Pointe-a-Pierre Refinery in 2018
- The Yara ammonia plant in 2019
He said, “We also hear of the potential mothballing of the Atlantic Train 1 plant in 2020.”
Ramnarine said, “This is all the result of the higher prices that the NGC was forced to live with that arose out of the negotiations for new natural gas contracts with BPTT and EOG in 2017.
“The persons responsible for those significantly higher prices should be held accountable because they have created a disastrous situation for Point Lisas which apart from living with higher natural gas prices now has to face lower ammonia prices due to a glut of ammonia brought on by unusual weather patterns in the United States.”