CLINT CHAN TACK AND CARLA BRIDGAL
ENERGY Minister Franklin Khan yesterday said the Caribbean Nitrogen Company (CNC) is negotiating with the National Gas Company (NGC) for the resumption of a supply of natural gas to its plant in Pt Lisas.
Khan made this disclosure in reply to a question in the House of Representatives. He reminded MPs that CNC’s plant ceased operation on January 24 after a break down in talks for a new natural gas supply contract.
Khan said since then the Government and NGC, through his ministry, had told CNC they should return to the negotiating table.
Despite CNC’s various utterances over the last ten days, he said, “It is only today that the NGC received official correspondence from CNC that they are willing to resume negotiations.” Khan said operations at CNC will resume “when an amicable settlement to the gas sales agreement is reached.”
Speaking to reporters earlier in the day at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port of Spain, NGC chairman Gerry Brooks said, “We have made our position clear. We have modified our position on numerous occasions. “On the last occasion we think an offer was made to them – what we think is a fair offer. What we cannot have is an offer which benefits one party and leaves TT exposed to $2-4 billions in losses.”
He added, “One has to be very careful. This matter is sub judice and in arbitration right now, so I cannot divulge the notes in terms of offer, but we are available to CNC to engage in any mature decision that can arrive at a solution.”