Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tobago gets direct access to natural gas grid

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Monday formally connected Tobago to the central natural gas gas, giving the island direct access to the country's natural gas.

She called the development an historic move that marks a new chapter in Tobago's economic development. 

"From today, Tobago is no longer a spectator in the national energy sector but an active participant," she said. "

"This is in keeping with the vision of the Government that Tobago as it directly benefits from the presence and exploitation of the country’s natural gas resources...

The Cove facility receives natural gas from BHP Billiton’s Angostura field and there is the flexibility to receive gas from the wider national natural gas supply grid, she said. 

"The facility is therefore significant from the point of view of energy security for Tobago as well as being a facilitator of economic development for the island," she added.

The facility is connected to the national natural gas grid by an underground 
12-inch pipeline that is 54 kilometers long, passing through waters ranging in depths of between 24 meters and 92 meters. 

"With the addition of these 54 kilometers, the NGC now manages 1000 kilometers of pipeline in both Trinidad and Tobago. This is a significant achievement for a company that is 100% owned by the people of Trinidad and Tobago and run by the people of Trinidad and Tobago," the Prime Minister said.

She added that everything was done in developing the Cove facility to protect the environment and preserve Tobago's natural beauty. One feature is that there is no gas flare or open flame.

The natural gas from the facility will feed T&TEC power plant at the neighbouring Cove Estate, which is a dual fuel power plant running on both gas and diesel fuel. 

She said T&TEC will shortly commission its power plant for the use of natural gas meaning that all power generated in Trinidad and Tobago will be from natural gas. 

"This places Trinidad and Tobago in an almost unique position where we will be generating all our electricity using clean burning natural gas. The only other country in the world that does this is Qatar," she explained.

Persad-Bissessar explained that the new development would also facilitate new business development in Cove Estate for companies that wish to use natural gas as an input. 

The pipeline and the gas receiving facility will initially handle about 12 million cubic feet of gas per day for power generation. However the PM said they have both been designed to handle a significantly increased volume of natural gas. 

She noted that this design feature will facilitate any increase in demand for natural gas such as the Eastern Caribbean Gas Pipeline.

She added, "As we move forward, we are keenly aware that exploration and development work will be taking place in the waters around Tobago – namely in Block 22 which is operated by Centrica, in NCMA 4 which is again operated by Centrica and in Block 23(a) and Block 14 both operated by BP. 

"Discoveries of natural gas have already been made in Block 22 and it is the intention of Centrica to commence development of this Block this year with the view of a possible mid-stream CNG project to be located in Tobago."

Persad-Bissessar said her government stands ready to work to ensure that Tobago is positioned and prepared for more developments when they materialize. 

"I am advised that currently nine Tobagonians are employed by the NGC on this facility and they are members of the operating staff. It is intention of the NGC to further expand the cohort of Tobagonians working on this facility as the opportunity arises."

She said the energy sector is still the most important contributor to the T&T economy and will continue to play an important role in the country.

No comments:

Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai