ENERGY Minister Franklin Khan said ministry officials should be meeting with fishermen concerned about the recent cessation of the supply of regular fuel in a matter of weeks.
He was responding to a question in the House on Friday.
He said the Energy Ministry has written to the Fisheries Division of the Ministry of Land, Agriculture and Fisheries requesting a meeting, with representatives of the division, to discuss the logistical changes the fishermen may have to adopt to access fuel following the cessation of the supply of regular fuel.
“After which the Government intends to meet with the fishermen to discuss the outcome and chart the way forward as to addressing the grave situation that they face.”
Fyzabad MP Dr Lackram Bodoe said at a recent meeting with fishermen, at the Otaheite fishing facility, a question was raised whether Government would consider providing a subsidy. Khan said that was a matter for the Agriculture Minister.
“But on the Ministry of Energy side we have made it quite clear that it will be impossible to supply the market with regular at least in the short term until the refinery becomes operational, hopefully later this year, or next year. And we will work out, if the Ministry of Agriculture is so inclined, we will work out the logistics of whether a subsidy could be paid or not.”
Bodoe asked what was the time frame for the fishermen to get a definitive answer and Khan responded it would be weeks.
Chaguanas West MP Ganga Singh asked if there was any contemplation of the use of electric engines and Khan said it was never considered, but he can inquire into whether the technology is available and how useful it is.
Last December, in the Senate, Khan said with the cessation of refining operations at Pointe-a-Pierre the small volume of regular gasoline was extremely difficult to source on the international market and not feasible to import.