Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 12th 2015 Contents MARCH 2015 • WEEK TWO www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
COMMENTARY | BG15
The Energy Chamber has
long been an advocate for
the revision of the fuel
subsidy. Even though it
reduces the cost of fuel
to the consumer, it
and, in the long run,
increases the use of fuel and increases the cost
to the state.
Also, from an environmental point of view,
the increase in the use of fuels for personal
and commercial transport continues to be one
of the major contributors to carbon emissions
in the country.
At the 2015 T&T Energy Conference, during
the Fuels--- Future Trends parallel session,
there were two project updates by Methanex
and NGC-CNG which alluded to two alter-
native automotive fuel options that can reduce
carbon emissions which may be available on
the T&T market soon.
Jerron Chin presented on behalf of Methanex
and showcased the fuel blending initiative
which involves blending methanol and tradi-
tional automotive gasoline. He points out that
many international industries are switching
to clean burning fuels.
Methanol as a fuel is already being utilised
in the maritime sector in Europe and North
America. These regions are introducing tighter
ship emissions regulations starting January
Fuel blending is essentially the mixture of
traditional gasoline and methanol. The effects
of this can be economical both on the part of
the producer and the distributor since it can
make use of existing fuel liquids infrastructure.
It can also be used in vehicles with little or
no modification to the engine. This makes a
quick transition for private vehicles.
The benefit is that it is cost-effective and
it allows for high performance while having
smaller impacts on the environment since
emissions are ultra-low and there is no soot
or particulate matter being emitted. The fuel
is stable and easy to store and handle.
Using this type of fuel can reduce greenhouse
gas emissions up to 95 per cent in commercial
land transport (depending on the volume of
methanol used in the blend).
A local study in T&T conducted by the Uni-
versity of the West Indies (UWI) confirms that
CO2 and hydrocarbon emissions will be
reduced by using methanol fuel blending tech-
niques. In addition, there s a minimal change
in vehicle fuel consumption. The recommen-
dation from the UWI study was that there be
pilot testing of vehicles and also introduction
of M15 (contains 13-15 per cent methanol in
the fuel blend) which can be used in local
Compressed natural gas
Curtis Mohammed, president of NGC Com-
pressed Natural Gas Company Ltd (NGC-
CNG), also presented as part of the parallel
session. Mohammed spoke about the benefits
of using CNG in T&T. While many remember
the attempts made in the past to introduce
CNG to the market, he noted there was a mis-
match of supply and demand for CNG to work.
NGC-CNG is working to increase the num-
ber of CNG stations within the country. In
addition, the subsidiary of NGC will market
and promote the conversion of vehicles in
The initiative represents a $2b investment
and the outcomes expected will reduce the
fuel subsidy, increased export of fuels redirected
from local consumption and ultimately the
increased use of CNG will reduce greenhouse
It is projected that 35 CNG stations will be
outfitted and almost 100,000 thousand vehi-
cles will be on the road at the end of the proj-
ect. NGC CNG will own the supply equipment
and implement affirmative action in demand
in key areas to ensure success.
In terms of supply, 11 existing CNG stations
are already functioning and, by the end of the
project, 35 stations will come on-stream: three
existing, six upgraded stations, 21 new or retro-
fitted stations and five mobile refueling units
will also be available.
Mohammed also points out the CNG is still
the lowest cost alternative for fuel that is cur-
rently on the market. The cost of CNG is 81
per cent lower than premium, 60 per cent
lower than super and 29 per cent lower than
the cost of diesel.
In addition to the cost benefits to CNG,
there are also environmental benefits since it
is also the cleanest of all emissions available
in the country. The use of CNG can improve
emissions by 15-20 per cent and, ultimately,
lead to a reduction in carbon emissions by
360,000 metric tonnes per year.
Promotion of carbon emission
The Energy Chamber---through its Energy
Efficiency and Alternative Energy (EE-AE)
Committee---continues to support other ini-
tiatives which contribute to the reduction in
carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases.
Though these types of initiatives are still based
on fossil fuels, they are cleaner and can reduce
the carbon footprint that personal vehicles
have on the environment. The committee is
currently involved in a pre-feasibility study
for building a carbon emissions trading system
(ETS) based on the capture vented gas by
The Energy Chamber will be hosting a gen-
eral meeting on March 24 at Cara Suites Hotel
with the intent to breathe new life into dis-
cussions around renewable technology and
the reduction of carbon emissions.
For further details please contact mem-
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