Trinidad and Tobago energy sector has crashed, says opposition deputy leader

David Lee

By Caribbean News Global contributor

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad — After five years of abhorrent failure in the energy sector, it is time prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr Keith Rowley end his political charade on misleading the country on the true state of affairs as the facts show that the energy sector is in the most deplorable, despicable and crumbling state it has ever been.

“This week’s announcement that the country’s largest ammonia producer Nutrien has closed its Number One plant, worsening the crisis at the Point Lisas Industrial Estate, is a clear indication that the prime minister misled the country in his mid-year review contribution,” said deputy political leader of the United National Congress (UNC) David Lee, when Dr Rowley announced that: “We are in a much better position today in energy than when we came into government in September 2015”.

The reality, opposition chief whip Lee says, “despite the prime minister’s attempted political gimmicks in the parliament is that our energy sector is in a crisis as never seen before with six petrochemical plants being shut down at Point Lisas in the last six months adding to the massive closures of YARA, Arcelor Mittal and other Methanol Holdings (MHTL) plants in previous years which have all occurred under the watch of this government.”

Lee argues that it is nothing but dishonest for this government to blame COVID-19 or the global demand for the downfall of these plants as since 2017 the haemorrhage of petrochemical plants began.

“Today, the millions lost in revenue and hundreds of job losses at Point Lisas are all as a direct result of the Dr Rowley regime’s poor negotiations with up streamers which have resulted in higher uncompetitive natural gas prices, a problem which down streamers have been complaining about in recent years,” added, “it is shameful that the prime minister in an attempt to cover up the fact that this government has not matched the oil and gas production of the period before 2015 even misled the parliament by saying that gas production now averaged 3.8 billion standard cubic feet per day when the ministry of energy figures show the actual figure to be 250 million standard cubic feet per day less for the calendar year 2019.”

“Even more damning than his attempts to mislead on gas production were his misguided attempts to take credit for the deep-water exploration success which were all as a result of the deepwater blocs approved by the former Kamla Persad Bissessar administration while his government has failed to undertake a single deepwater bid round in five years and the sole shallow water bid round undertaken failed.”

Trinidad and Tobago PM misleading picture on energy sector crisis  

Deputy political leader of the UNC, Lee, requested that “instead of peddling untruths to mask his regime’s failure”, demanded:

  • The prime minister must tell the population, where is the Dragon Gas he promised?
  • After five years where is the new fiscal regime and incentives they promised to stimulate growth in the energy sector?
  • After two years why is the Petrotrin refinery still shut down and thousands of former energy sector workers still on the breadline?

“It is time the Dr Rowley regime end its electioneering untruths and admit that their incompetence has plunged our once robust energy sector into crisis,” concluded that “the Dr Rowley regime has not only failed on its energy sector promises made five years ago but has harmed our energy sector so much that decades of hard work has been destroyed.”


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