DAVID LEE, Pointe-a-Pierre MP, on Friday called for the resignation of National Gas Company (NGC) president Mark Loquan, alleging a poor performance by the NGC including a first-ever loss of $2 billion last year.
At a briefing at the Opposition Leader’s office in Port of Spain, Lee lamented the NGC board had sought personal indemnity for some $400 million in spending to help Atlantic LNG (ALNG) Train One. He viewed it as a “Malcolm Jones part two” scenario, recalling the Government’s dropping of a US$97 million personal liability lawsuit against former Petrotrin executive chairman, the late Malcolm Jones.
Lee said requests for indemnification now suggested that board members were not comfortable and that bad decisions had been made.
After $400 million was spent on Train One, would the plant now be decommissioned, he asked.
Lee alleged the NGC was now unable to fully supply gas to Train One. He also feared that whatever gas was being supplied to Train One would deprive a gas-supply to downstream producers and possibly cause the closure of some of them.
He queried a $50-100 million corporate communications account at the NGC. In the question session, Lee said bpTT which is a Train One shareholder had not got enough gas to supply to the plant and the NGC had since taken up that mantle. However, despite the NGC spending $400 million, today it did not have such gas to supply to Train One.
The Prime Minister was asked if he had supported indemnity for the board at a news briefing in Tobago. Dr Rowley replied, “Of course I did.”
Was the $400 million spent now likely to be wasted if the plant is decommissioned?
Rowley replied, “No.” He said snippets of information on the Government’s position on such complex matters could be quite misleading.
He said the Government has a 10 per cent stake in Train One (and 11 per cent in Train Four) and it was “engineeringly connected” to Trains Two, Three and Four.
“The Government is involved in that highly sensitive and confidential discussion, with two of the world’s leading hydrocarbon producers, bp and Shell. We are constantly in negotiations with these companies in the context.
“So it’s not just an article in the Guardian about a page which was leaked to you. It’s a very complicated, very complex issue, but rest assured that everything the Government does, the primary objective is protecting and preserving the best interest of the people of Trinidad and Tobago.”