Heritage chairman: Budget sought to reset energy sector

An aerial view of Heritage Petroleum storate tanks, left, and Atlantic LNG in Point Fortin.  Photo by Jeff K Mayers
An aerial view of Heritage Petroleum storate tanks, left, and Atlantic LNG in Point Fortin. Photo by Jeff K Mayers

Chairman of the Heritage Petroleum Company Ltd Michael Quamina said visible efforts are being made to make use of current energy resources while investing in alternative sources of energy going forward.

Speaking during his contribution on a virtual post-budget forum hosted by the Heliconia Foundation on Thursday evening, Quamina said he was generally pleased with the budget presentation, as it stayed true to its theme of resetting the economy.

The budget offered several policies aimed at energy transition, with the promotion of green spaces, tax credits on carbon capture and storage and enhanced oil recovery, removal of taxes on electric vehicles, and the revamp of the oil and gas regime.

He said it was important that as different environmental and economic factors affect the production of crude oil, there was need to explore the possibility of renewable sources of energy, and felt these issues were addressed in the 2022 budget.

"You're seeing an emphasis on an increase in production, you're seeing the investment, and in that investment you're seeing by way of the minister saying they are going to have a look at the fiscal regime.

"I think from an energy point of view you're seeing the fact that we are resetting, getting the best that we can out of the traditional crude oil industry and looking towards the question of the renewables, etcetera. So I'm quite satisfied with the presentation in so far as that is concerned, because that is putting us on the correct path."

Outside of the energy sector, Quamina said he hoped to see more focus on capitalising on Trinidad and Tobago's entertainment sector and boosting tourist arrivals.

Quamina, who is also the vice chairman of Caribbean Airlines Ltd (CAL), said he was pleased with the airline's performance up until the beginning of the covid19 pandemic and said strategies aimed at making use of TT's entertainment sector was needed.

"If you're looking at broadening the horizons of CAL and taking CAL in different directions, I was really looking forward to partnering with the entertainment industry and getting people to come to Trinidad, I think that is a resource that remains untapped for many reasons, and I think is very important."

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