Ramnarine: T&T’s Natural Gas Supply Unacceptable

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By Sue-Ann Wayow

IN order for industrial plants to continue its operations, there needs to be an adequate supply of natural gas and a good competitive price.

This is according to former energy minister Kevin Ramnarine who said the closure of two Pt Lisas plants owned by Proman Limited Trinidad and Tobago was a “bitter blow” to the energy sector demonstrating the ineffectiveness of the National Gas Company (NGC).

Former energy minister Kevin Ramnarine

Proman’s Managing Director Claus Cronberger in a message said the company continued to work to secure a long-term gas supply contract with the NGC for their methanol plants.


He stated, “Despite our very best efforts throughout March, I regret to inform you that we have been unable to secure an economically viable short-term gas supply contract for the month of April and therefore we have had to take the extremely difficult decision to idle our M4 and M5000 plants, effective immediately, M2 and M3 will continue running on DeNovo gas only.”

Cronberger said in February, the company agreed to NGC’s terms for a short-term supply for March to facilitate operations while discussions were ongoing but an increase in the pricing for April made the continued operations “economically unsustainable.”

He said engagements continued with the NGC and the Government and that the company’s main priority was sustaining operations and securing livelihoods.

Cronberger added, “At this time, I do not foresee any negative impact on employee headcount. However, if we are forced to take steps to shut down any of our plants over a longer period, we will revisit the impact on our entire operations.”

Ramnarine told AZPNews.com that the halted operations on the plants was a continuation of the downward trend that began at the Pt Lisas Industrial Estate several years ago.


He said, “We have now reached a point where we are supplying natural gas at significantly lower volumes than we did five years ago or six years ago. Natural gas supply in Trinidad is now consistently below, three billion cubic feet of natural gas per day which is an unacceptable position for this country to be in.”

He said, “I think we need to take stock as to how we were allowed to arrive at this position. I think what we are seeing is the result of compounded policy decisions over the last couple of years and I think that other companies in Pt Lisas part from Proman are also seeing very difficult times.”

Ramnarine is suggesting that the government look seriously at the gas value chain from upstream to downstream and reassess the distribution  of value across those value chains.

He said, “I think it is time for drastic intervention by persons who understand the gas value chain in Trinidad and Tobago and that is the problem. I think people who are presiding over those do not understand energy taxation and do not understand the gas value chain.”


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