THE EDITOR: The situation with Atlantic LNG Train 1 is a sort of paradigm for piecemeal overhaul of the energy industry and channelling of profits. This is the case whether the circumstances that have arisen are accidental or deliberate: a tussle-up formula is showing anyway.
The present set-up will not optimise returns for the nation; rather it exposes the country as a whole to the most risks while giving “other players” the most openings. It is one way to criticise state enterprise, because the nation as a shareholder has to accept what happens. The category “other players” getting singular advantages would include government “groupings.”
Depending on their acumen or connections/networking, different governments will handle things worse while others make ways to profiteer as unregulated insiders. It lights up the scope of various thrusts entered by the chairman of NGC. But more, the structuring and restructuring we are seeing is a free-for-all-best-man-wins, tearing apart economies of scale. What could be the alternative? It might be much more economic and steady – and profitable – if, for example, a major energy operator like Total SA had the overall management of the critical mass of the energy industry, under an enforceable contractual regime with the Government.
TT’s refinery agglomeration may well fit very nicely into their portfolio of plants, streams, global platforms and marketing possibilities. They would factor with the handicaps; TT proper would have a safe bet with extra royalties when they develop and participation in futures and options; and the workforce now disenfranchised will have work again.
E GALY via e-mail