…Working to Ensure Energy Sector Sustainability
January 22, 2015: Energy Sector stakeholders have reaffirmed their commitment to working with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago in moving the sector forward, and ensuring its sustainability.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar today continued her consultations on the economy, meeting with representatives from 20 companies operating in the local energy sector.
Discussions centred on the challenges currently facing the sector, and representatives of 26 energy companies put forward their suggestions to improve efficiency, and further expand and develop this important sector, which contributes 45% of this country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and approximately half of Government revenue.
The Prime Minister recognized the importance of diversification of the economy, but also stressed the need to strengthen and maintain the competitive advantage held by this country’s energy sector.
Stakeholders reaffirmed their commitment to maintain current levels of investment, and welcomed the Government’s commissioning of a Natural Gas Master Plan which will guide the planning of the natural gas industry over the next decade. The Prime Minister gave her commitment to fast-tracking the completion and implementation of this plan.
One recurrent issue highlighted was the need to rectify the delays encountered in getting regulatory approvals.
Following the discussions, the participants agreed on a way forward, to include:
(1) The setting up of a Committee to discuss how best to maintain and improve the sustainability of the energy sector. The Prime Minister indicated that Cabinet will decide on the composition and Ministerial participation on this Committee.
(2) A second, Cabinet-appointed Committee to improve the efficiency of the regulatory approval process, with the objective of clearing log jams.
Next week, Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar will join Heads of Government from the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Grenada at the First Caribbean Energy Security Summit hosted by United States Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
The summit, which takes place on January 26, 2015, will focus on promoting sustainable energy in the region, including access to financing.
Trinidad and Tobago has lead responsibility in CARICOM on energy matters, and the Prime Minister will take the lead in responding to the impact of falling oil prices on countries in the region.