Sunday 25 October, 2020

Former minister cautions gov't against inertia on energy sector

Former minister of energy Kevin Ramnarine is warning Government against creating an environment of uncertainty and inertia around the natural gas sector.

Ramnarine issued the words of caution in a recent statement following the laying of the September 2015 Gas Master Plan in Parliament on Wednesday.

The former minister said the delay in treating with the plan is an example of the uncertainty and inertia around the country’s natural gas sector.

He noted that over the last 21 months Government said on numerous occasions that the GMP was being reviewed.

“In October 6th 2015, former Minister of Energy Nicole Olivierre said she was reviewing the 2015 GMP given the "different priorities" of the new administration. In an address to the nation on January 11th 2017, the Prime Minister, Dr. Rowley said the 2015 GMP was being subjected to extensive review by the Government. Given the extensive review, it was surprising that the 2015 GMP, that was completed under the term of the former Government, was laid in Parliament two days ago.”

“In November 2014, the Ministry of Energy entered into a contract with Poten and Partners for a GMP. The report was finalised in early September 2015. It took nine months to write. The GMP was thought to be necessary because of the complex challenges facing the natural gas sector. It maps the period 2014 to 2024. Its guiding principles include, the maximization of value accruing to the people of T&T from the commercialization of their natural gas and the sustainability of the natural gas sector going forward. The GMP is not a policy document but was meant to be a resource that informs policy formulation.”

Ramnarine stressed that in light of the centrality of natural gas to the economy, the GMP is a very important document.

He added that the environment of uncertainty and inertia being created around the natural gas sector does not augur well for investor confidence.

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