Energy Ministry: NiQuan not yet cleared to restart Pointe-a-Pierre plant

NiQuan Energy plant in Pointe-a-Pierre. -
NiQuan Energy plant in Pointe-a-Pierre. -

The Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries (MEEI) says, contrary to assertions made by NiQuan, the ministry has the final say in whether or not the energy company can begin operations again at its gas-to-liquids plant in Pointe-a-Pierre.

This comes after a statement from NiQuan on Tuesday claimed it had Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) approval and could begin operations after the accidental death of Allanlane Ramkisson at the plant in June. NiQuan also claimed the plant's restart was being prevented by the government's refusal to supply the company with natural gas.

Ramkissoon, a pipefitter employed by sub-contractor Massy Energy Engineered Solutions Ltd, died from injuries he suffered in a fire at the plant on June 15.

On Wednesday, the ministry shared a letter dated August 25, in which it responded to a letter from NiQuan Energy Trinidad Ltd (NETL) dated August 20 which contained a root cause analysis report from August 19; and a letter dated August 25 with an OSHA certificate of compliance from August 23.

The ministry’s letter said NiQuan’s position that OSHA’s clearance was enough for the company to restart operations at its plant was wrong.

“Further we note that NETL is of the view that the June 15, 2023 incident does not qualify as a major incident involving serious damage to the installation and thus no clearance for recommencement is required from the MEEI.

"The MEEI hereby advises that NETL’s view is incorrect.”

The ministry said it sent two letters, one on July 26, 2022 and another June 22 this year, identifying its right to cease operations at the plant pending investigation into major incidents.

The 2022 letter cited serious injury to personnel, and downtime as major incidents.

The 2023 letter cited the Petroleum Act, saying it had begun investigations, and since they were not completed, NiQuan could not restart.

To complete investigations the ministry shared a list of 27 requirements, three of which it said NiQuan had not fulfilled.

“A full review and assessment upon receipt of all requested documents together with any further site visits or meetings/interviews required by the MEEI’s investigation team, will need to be completed by the MEEI investigation team prior to the preparation of its final report.

"Once the MEEI is satisfied that all MEEI recommendations are addressed, closed out and implemented, any approval from the MEEI to recommence operations will be set out in a separate correspondence from the MEEI.”


"Energy Ministry: NiQuan not yet cleared to restart Pointe-a-Pierre plant"

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