Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 1st 2015 Contents A10
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, September 1, 2015
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for AUGUST 28TH, 2015
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar opened the newly construct-
ed Mayaro Fire Station on Sunday, one
week before the country faces the polls
to choose a government that will run
the country for the next five years.
Speaking at the ceremony in Mayaro,
Persad-Bissessar boasted that the facility
was the first of its kind in T&T.
"This building is built to the latest
international building standards and is
expected to remain functional even after
a hurricane or earthquake," she said.
"That is because materials used
include hurricane-resistant roofing
materials and electricity. Such post-
disaster buildings have a lifespan of 100
"It is the first of its kind and a land-
mark for Mayaro, which the community
can be proud of."
Persad-Bissessar said there needs to
be a change in attitude in citizens where
fire prevention and education are con-
"The need to change our attitude
toward fire safety is critical. If we are
to develop the government s economy
then all sectors will need to work togeth-
er with the Ministry of National Security
to prevent unnecessary fires from taking
place. We need to educate families and
friends on fire safety and fire-prevention
She said a proactive approach to fire
prevention would not only save property,
but lives as well.
"This proactive approach to fires will
reduce the strain on the fire service as
we continue to make a safer T&T. In
some cases, the chief fire officer will
tell you that fires lead not only to loss
of property but loss of lives. Preparedness
cannot be underestimated."
She added that firefighters are also
trained for search and rescue during
natural disasters and it is her Govern-
ment s goal to provide them with the
necessary equipment and facilities.
"In addition to fighting fires they are
trained in dealing with road accidents
and swift road evacuation, urban search
and rescue after natural disasters. All
of these play a key role in fire prevention
and safety. In the coming years we want
to improve the quality of service and
care attended by firefighters. It is only
fitting that our firefighters are outfitted
with state-of-the-art equipment to
allow them to offer to the citizens of
Her party s candidate for Mayaro,
Rushton Paray, Princes Town candidate
Barry Padarath, Cumuto/Manzanilla
candidate Christine Newallo-Hosein
and Naparima candidate, Rodney
Charles addressed supporters before
Persad-Bissessar s arrival.
PROTEST OUTSIDE VENUE
Pt Lisas estate
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley has painted
a dismal picture of the energy sector, saying that
the declining oil and gas prices could see the closure
of Pt Lisas.
He also denied any commitment by the People s
National Movement (PNM) to revisit the aluminium
smelter at La Brea which was shut down by the
People s Partnership Government in 2010.
Addressing a political meeting in Point Fortin on
Wednesday night, Rowley said the south-west penin-
sula had many requirements for the PP to take gov-
ernmental action to
protect the economy
and the lives of the
people, but they
failed to do so.
energy sector has
some serious challenges. Not too far ago we were pro-
ducing over 2000,000 barrels of oil per day. In the
last decade that fell to about 140,000 barrels a day."
He said since this Government came into office,
both on-land and offshore production declined, leaving
production standing at under 80,000 barrels a day
while at the same time gas production has gone down.
Rowley said the Government was telling the people
that the gas decline was temporary as a result of
maintenance and that the figures would return to
normal production once that was over.
"But they were not telling us the truth, that we
have a serious production issue. The bottom line is
that there is a shortage of gas to meet our consumption
level and our plants at Point Lisas are on very many
days underperforming because there is just not enough
gas to perform at a maximum.
"Some plants are regularly in short supply by 10,
15 or 25 per cent of the gas they need and even so
the Government would not talk to you about it. We
are sitting on a big problem."
Apart from gas being in short supply, Rowley told
his audience that the gas contracts of some of the
older plants at Pt Lisas are coming to the end and
the Government has failed to address this.
Gas which previously sold at a high of US$14 per
mmbtu in 2008 is now fetching a price of US$2.25
per mmbtu. Oil is now averaging around US$40 from
US$140 approximately one year ago.
Rowley said there are difficult times ahead in the
hydro-carbon sector because T&T are price takers
and not price makers.
PNM supporters during a protest at the opening ceremony for the Mayaro Fire Station on Sunday. E
Below: UNC supporters await
the arrival of Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who
officially opened the newly
constructed Mayaro Fire
Station, in background, on
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