NATIONAL Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds on Wednesday praised his predecessor, now Energy Minister, Stuart Young for an interim agreement reached between the National Gas Company and the Proman Group on Tuesday,
It led to an immediate restart of Methanol Holdings Trinidad Ltd's (MHTL) M4 and M5000 methanol plants at Pt Lisas.
In a post on his Facebook page, Hinds referred to a statement on Tuesday from the Energy Ministry in which Young expressed pleasure at the restart of those plants. He recalled that the plants were recently closed after NGC and MTHL could not agree on a gas-supply contract "to the satisfaction of both entities."
Hinds said late energy minister Franklin Khan worked hard on this and "told us assuringly that all will be well."
He added that on Tuesday "an interim agreement was settled and the company has announced that the two plants will be made operational again."
Hinds recalled that when MTHL announced in March that the plants would be closed, the UNC "saw only doom and disaster" and condemned the Government.
Now that this agreement has been reached and efforts are ongoing to reach a longer-term arrangement, Hinds predicted the UNC is now "on the lookout for some other hype, bacchanal and empty scaremongering opportunity."
Hinds was appointed national security minister on April 19 after Young was reassigned from that portfolio to the energy ministry after Khan died on April 17.
In a joint statement on Tuesday, NGC president Mark Loquan and Proman Trinidad managing director Claus Cronberger praised the efforts of their respective negotiating teams to reach an interim agreement to facilitate the restart of the plants.
Loquan and Cronberger expressed the respective commitments of NGC and Proman to work towards "a mutually agreed, sustainable long-term gas supply contract in the shortest possible timeframe."
The Energy Ministry's statement said Young had been communicating with the NGC and Proman recently and welcomed the interim agreement that has led to the restart. The ministry added that Young was satisfied with NGC and Proman's commitment to negotiate a long-term gas supply agreement.
The ministry promised to continue to monitor this and communicate with the parties.