Trinidad and Tobago is wasting too much valuable energy, Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine said yesterday.
He said a simple thing such as turning off a lightbulb when not in use could save energy.
He was speaking at the opening of the Trinidad Generation Unlimited (TGU) power generation facility located on the Union Industrial Estate, Vessigny Village, La Brea.
Ramnarine said: “In this country, we simply waste too much energy and I am speaking both from the industrial sector and the domestic sector. This is unfortunate as it impacts our natural gas reserves.”
“The population needs to appreciate that when we conserve electricity, we conserve our natural gas. The population needs to make the connection between the lightbulbs and the appliances in their homes and the natural gas resources that are located off the East coast and the North coast,” he added.
The US$740 million plant was described as the most efficient and cheapest to produce electricity.
The plant was constructed below its original budget of US$777 million.
Ramnarine said because of its production capacity of 720 megawatts (MW), it was the most effective in the Caribbean and was important to the development of La Brea, especially with the Point Fortin highway extension being built.
He hoped that the Union Industrial Estate would become the next “Point Lisas”.
The plant consists of six General Electric gas turbine-driven generators for a combined output of 450 MW. Waste heat from the exhaust of the gas turbines is used to produce steam. The steam produced by the waste heat is used to power the steam turbine-driven generators.
At full production, the plant can supply more than half of the country’s highest demands for electrical power.
La Brea Member of Parliament Fitzgerald Jeffrey said he was grateful for the plant in La Brea.
He said TGU has been “an outstanding corporate citizen”, especially in the area of education and he was impressed with the quality of the plant.
Jeffrey said in the past the constituency faced many broken promises from Government but with Ramnarine as minister, positive changes were noticeable, especially with the reduction of unemployment.
Ramnarine said of all the employees at TGU, 60 per cent lived within a “five-mile radius” of the plant.
He said a new transformer was expected to be built at Brechin Castle and a sub station at Gandhi Village by the end of 2014.