The National Gas Company (NGC) could earn between US$234 million to US$489 million from the sale of methanol and dimethyl ether (DME) when a new petrochemical complex to be constructed at Union Estate, La Brea, comes on stream.
This estimate was given by Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine following the signing of a project agreement for the facility by representatives of Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company Inc, Massy Holdings, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, Caribbean Gas Chemical Ltd, National Gas Company, Mitsubishi Corporation and the ministry yesterday.
Ramnarine said the agreement is part of the new energy economy of T&T and the project will cost US$987 million, 30 per cent of which will be financed
through equity and 70 per cent through debt.
“The project brings the National Gas Company into the downstream of the natural gas value chain and NGC has 20 per cent of this project,” he said, adding that NGC will get access to DME and methanol which it can either market or use in other down stream industries.
“The NGC will also receive dividends on the project and the NGC will also get revenue from its sale of natural gas to the complex,” he said.
The petrochemicals complex is expected to produce one million tonnes of methanol a year.
Commenting on the planned acquisition of the BG Group by Royal Dutch Shell, Ramnarine said Ben van Beurden, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell has written to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar expressing great optimism about the company’s role in T&T.
The minister said upstream and downstream development in the energy sector will continue.
“BP is constructing the Juniper gas processing platform, that is one component of a wider US$2.1 billion investment. That project will bring, that is the Juniper project, 1.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas into production by 2017. Juniper is the most expensive upstream development in the history of this country’s oil and gas industry,” he said.
The minister said BG has started appraisals and exploration drilling in two highly prospective blocks and BHP Billiton will soon begin work on their Angostura Phase 3 project.
“All four of the country’s natural gas producers are busying developing more reserves of natural gas for industries that will come into Union Industrial Estate,” Ramnarine said.
“The Ministry of Energy expects 2015 to be a very busy year for drilling. Already for the first quarter of 2015, rig days have surpassed the number that obtained in the first quarter of 2014.”