Ramnarine: Government responsible for lack of energy clarity

Thursday, April 6, 2017 - 16:30

Former Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine is denying that the National Gas Master Plan stalled under the People's Partnership Government.

Ramnarine said the plan was only finalised weeks before the change of government in 2015 and that it is the current government that is responsible for the delay in seeing it through.

Ramnarine issued the following statement on the matter:

"In November 2014, the Ministry of Energy retained Poten and Partners of the UK to develop a Gas Master Plan for Trinidad and Tobago.

The thinking behind this decision was given the complex negotiations we (the Ministry of Energy) would face in the future we would need research and data to guide our policy.

In late August 2015 Poten and Partners completed the Natural Gas Master plan after consultation with a wide range of stakeholders. The entire process took nine months. The incoming PNM administration has been reviewing it for the last 21 months.

Regarding the Gas Master Plan, Mr. Stuart Young is reported as saying in the Newsday of April 5th, 2017, " the Gas Master Plan which stalled under the PP is being worked on and will be laid in Parliament this month." How could it have stalled when the final version was submitted to the Ministry of Energy in August 2015? Once again Mr Young is playing politics with the energy sector.

What he conveniently does not say is that he and his Government have had it for twenty-one months (almost two years) and have been “reviewing” it for that extended period of time. It therefore comes as no surprise that industry leaders are complaining about a lack of energy policy clarity.

He is further reported in the Express of April 5th, 2017 as saying that his Government took some time to find the plan. This is absolutely mind boggling since the 2015 Natural Gas Master Plan could have easily been sourced from the Permanent Secretary or the Chief Technical Officer of the Ministry of Energy.

He is also reported to have said that "one would have thought that they (former Government) would have begun to address it". That too is mind boggling since the Government changed in a matter of a few weeks after the 2015 final submission.

I have presented these facts to correct what was published in the print media on April 5th 2017. These reports were based on statements by Mr. Young. It is important that misinformation about the oil and gas industry be corrected lest it impacts the creditability of the nation in the eyes of international investors."

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