US$489m for NGC

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Rad­hi­ca Sookraj

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.”

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