Niquan Conducts Business in US$

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By Sue-Ann Wayow

TRANSACTIONS between Niquan GTL and local businesses will be conducted using US dollars says Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.

Dr Rowley on Friday in Parliament spoke about the recently commissioned plant at Pointe-a-Pierre that is expected to produce diesel that will be less harmful to the environment as he answered questions from Pointe-a-Pierre’s Member of Parliament David Lee.

Lee asked, “Given that the Niquan GTL plant is now operational and there was an agreement with the State to purchase all the offtake from the plant, could the Prime Minister state if payments for these products would be made in US dollars or TT Dollars?”

Dr Rowley’s response was, “The agreement between Niquan and the other business operators is still in place. Niquan sells zero sulphur diesel which fetches a premium of 25% above the market price and it will be sold in US dollars so it is a US dollar transaction.”

In answering subsequent questions about Niquan,  Dr Rowley said Niquan’s diesel was not just for consumption on the plant, but for “blending and improving.”

“That arrangement will be there in place and the market is there for both import and export,” he said.

The Prime Minister added, “As soon as the supply is available it should be available to the local market because it is meant to satisfy the local and foreign market. The first products have just come off the plant so we expect that we would either use the product locally or sell it or have a combination of both. It is an addition to our diversification.”

Dr Rowley also said that while there was no High Commissioner to Guyana appointed yet, there was an establishment since 2019 that was functional with staffing.

MP for Naparima Rodney Charles asked about when will there be a proposed High Commission in Georgetown Guyana given that Guyana was becoming an  energy hub in the Caribbean.

Dr Rowley said many of the questions asked by the Opposition members were intentional in misleading the public.

He said, “There is no proposed establishment of any High Commission in Georgetown. The Trinidad and Tobago High Commission in Georgetown has already been established and has been operational since 2019.The staff is functioning and I don’t know why a Member of Parliament continue to mislead the population in this way.

Asked who was the High Commissioner, Rowley replied, “There is a High Commissioner to be appointed and that appointment will be made at the appropriate time.”

And MP for Caroni Central Arnold Ram asked, “Given the recent withdrawal of some US$900million from the Heritage and Stabalisation Fund (HSF) in fiscal year 2020 and a further US$300million for fiscal year 2021 thus far, could the Prime Minister inform this House of the productive applications of these sums aimed at diversifying the national economy inclusive of structural reform?”

Dr Rowley answered, “Funds for the Heritage and Stabalisation Fund are deposited into the consolidated fund and are utilised to finance all the fiscal and economic programmes of the Government as authorised by the Parliament via approval in the annual budget and that includes the salary of members of Parliament.”

“Everything that the Government does in the country is an investment,” he said.

Asked by MP for San Juan/Barataria Saddam Hosein if he was aware of monies used from the HSF for recurrent expenses to pay contractors just prior to the 2020 general election, Rowley responded, “I am not aware of any such thing. What I am aware of is what I will repeat again. That the consolidated fund covers all aspect of government’s expenditure in the national budget and part of the national budget that the Member for Barataria approved is a development programme which involves the payment to contractors so I don’t know what this is about except to misinform, misdirect and mislead the population.”

And he stressed that there were no    agreements made by state agencies and foreign banks that required certain conditions.

“We are following no conditionality made to us by any foreign agency,”    the Prime Minister said.



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