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Friday 24 May 2019
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Ramkhelawan: Train 1 may have to shut down

Subash Ramkhelawan

Photo: Vashti Singh
Subash Ramkhelawan Photo: Vashti Singh

Should alternative methods fail to boost local natural gas production, Atlantic’s Train I may shut down for an initial period of two years. Bourse Securities managing director Subhas Ramkhelawan said this during a business meeting at the Five Star Conference Centre, Price Plaza Mall Chaguanas on Thursday evening.

Giving an overview of the economy, Ramkhelawan told the audience, which included Dominican Republic Ambassador Jose A Serulle Ramia, that TT is facing “challenging times” as it grapples with not only the gas shortage but also the refinancing of Petrotrin’s US $850 million bond, which could reduce TT’s Heritage and Stability Fund if government is able to refinance the bond.

The former independent senator said the “most important announcement” made by Finance Minister Colm Imbert during the Finance Supplementary Appropriation (Financial Year 2019) Bill on Monday is the deficiency on natural gas production as announced by BPTT several days earlier.

He said while production currently stood at 3.8 billion units of gas, the deterioration in supply from bp meant that some 300 million units would be taken out of the system."That is about one-twelfth of the overall supply that we will be experiencing, albeit the supply has improved from previous years, from about 3.3 billion units per day to 3.8 billion units per day."

Essentially that would mean the shutting down of one of the four energy trains that we have in TT at some point in time, and for the period of time in the first instance, the discussions are about shutting down Train 1 for a period of about two years.

"The fact is, with the deficiency in gas, at some point in time that 200-300 million units of gas which came from BP is going to fall away, and we do not know, as we go forward, how that deficiency can or will be made up."

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