Friday 3 April, 2020

Khan: No need to worry, no major job cuts coming

File photo.

File photo.

There is no possibility of massive job losses in the manufacturing, light manufacturing or petrochemical sectors.

The assurance comes from Energy Minister Franklin Khan in response to a question posed by Opposition MP Rudranath Indarsingh during Friday’s sitting of the House of Representatives.

Indarsingh expressed concern over the possibility of job losses in these sectors as stakeholders continue to call on the National Gas Company (NGC) to renegotiate its gas pricing arrangements.

Khan noted that the gas supply to the light manufacturing sector has always been subsidised by the NGC, and in spite of higher costs from upstream companies it will continue to honour this arrangement.

The Minister said that negotiations on the gas pricing arrangement are ongoing, but there must be some “adjustment to the burden”.

“That is the basis on which the NGC is now negotiating with the light manufacturing sector to see how this burden could be adjusted amicably for both parties.”  

As it relates to the petrochemical sector, Khan said that negotiations are ongoing.

The Minister noted that successful negotiations with Caribbean Nitrogen Company (CNC) and Nutrien, have already been completed.

NGC is currently in discussions with Methanol Holdings Trinidad Limited (MHTL), which is part of the Proman Group, on the renewal of gas supply contracts.

The Energy Minister said his information is that these negotiations will soon be concluded amicably.

Khan said at the end of negotiations, most of the petrochemical plants at the Point Lisas Industrial Estate will have secured gas supply contracts covering volume and price.

“I don’t think there is any need to raise a red flag at this point in time but as you all know the gas industry internationally is dynamic and we continue to monitor it.”

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