ATLANTIC LNG (Atlantic) has stated in the public domain that they will be sending home staff and has already offered their employees a voluntary separation of employment packages (VSEP). The company stated that they are not getting enough natural gas to meet their requirements and only receive 70 percent of the capacity that they require.
This shows the predicament we are in, as the state our energy sector really is, and continues a downward trend in the local energy sector in which we may see more retrenchment of workers.
Atlantic LNG is basically painting a picture that all isn’t right with what’s going on in Trinidad and Tobago. Stating that it is necessary to review the organisational structure to ensure alignment to the refreshed strategy, is another way of saying heads are going to roll.
The Government keeps spinning the facts and saying everything is going well in the energy sector however clearly this isn’t the case. The Government and the Minister of Energy, Mr Young, announced that the NGC increased its equity share in Atlantic, showing with the Government commitment that this was to maximize the value to the country from the sale of hydrocarbon resources. So the Government is insisting that the new construction will improve a market-reflective pricing mechanism that provides a fair value from the sale of LNG for Trinidad and Tobago and the shareholders. However, how can this be when we only seeing retrenchment everywhere?
Not to mention amidst the many scandals which are revolving around the Paria Fuel Trading Company right now, and the sobering reality of it as well, the whole energy outlook for T&T is depressing.
On February 25, 2022 five divers on a job for Paria Trading Company Limited, a state-owned fuel and logistics business in Trinidad and Tobago, were sucked into the 36-inch oil pipeline on which they were working. The cause of the accident, initially unknown, was later attributed to a powerful vacuum effect presumably triggered by the removal of a flange attached to the vertical section of the U-shaped conduit. To date, we are still awaiting on what steps would be taken to ensure nothing like this ever happens again and wondering if anything positive will come out from the inquiries.
The current Government has not handled the energy sector or bread and butter properly in my humble opinion. There is an enormous perception of lack of confidence in the way the whole state of affairs of the death of the divers and the sale of Petrotrin have been handled in public domain. It seems surreal, freakish and bizarre the amount of issues we have in our Energy sector. Is this the norm of our energy sector now?
The Government has not engendered confidence in this industry at all, from the shutting down of Petrotrin to the opening up of the new companies which have had one issue after another. Now we are seeing retrenchment and lost of jobs.
Everything seems to be shrouded in secrecy and seeming incompetence. How can we hope to be a major player in the energy landscape of our future with blunder after blunder taking place? It’s too many now. Let’s get it right and get a competent Government in place to handle our energy sector.