Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 12th 2016 Contents A5
Friday, August 12, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
SHALIZA HASSANALI and
Minister in the Office of the
Attorney General and Legal Affairs,
Stuart Young, yesterday raised "red
flags" about the Caribbean Gas
Chemical Ltd (CGCL) deal initiated
under the then People s Partnership
government, saying if it had been
allowed to go through it would
have cost the country billions of
dollars in losses.
Stuart also revealed that former
attorney general, Garvin Nicholas,
was pressured into signing off on
the deal on election day, September
Young made the disclosure in the
presence of the acting Prime Min-
ister, Colm Imbert, during the post-
Cabinet media briefing at the Office
of the Prime Minister, St Clair.
He said all the "red flags" in the
deal would be revealed in a minis-
terial document which would be
released when Parliament resumed
In April 2015, Mitsubishi Group
(Japan) had signed a deal with
National Gas Company (NGC) and
Massy Holdings to construct a
methanol plant in La Brea, with an
investment of TT $1 billion.
Upon assuming office, Young said
they were approached by a group
of investors asking for the provision
of an opinion of the Attorney Gen-
eral in the CGCL deal.
"When we went to find out what
happened I discovered cause for
concern. When we got to the files
at the AG s office, much to our dis-
may, we found a number of red flag
items by the attorneys who had been
looking at this transaction," Young
He said the People s National
Movement decided not to proceed
with the deal in its current form.
"What had been agreed upon by
the former administration was
something that had the potential to
expose T&T to billions of (US) dol-
lars in claims.
"One of the things we found
when we went back to the records
is that on September 7, 2015, which
is actually the day of the election,
we found that an unusual amount
of pressure being put on the tech-
nocrats at the Ministry of the Attor-
ney General by the politicians to
have a sign-off of the AG s opinion
on the day of election," he added.
Young said following their dis-
covery, the Government had a con-
versation with Massy Group, the
government of Japan through its
governmental bank, Japan Bank for
International Cooperation (JBIC), as
well as the Mitsubishi Group. He
said he also travelled to Japan for a
two-day visit to speak to Mitsubishi
and the Japanese government.
Following months of productive
negotiations with the institutions,
Young said the PNM was able to
come up with an amendment to the
agreement "that extracted T&T"
from those billion dollar claims.
Last week, Young said, officials
from the Mitsubishi Group came to
T&T to sign the amended agree-
Imbert, as acting PM, signed a
letter of comfort, while Young signed
a document that concluded the
Imbert said although there was
pressure to sign the initial deal, no
signature was affixed, while the
"investors had used their own
monies to start the project to do
site preparation and other prelim-
inary work. Now that the last two
documents have been signed it will
allow a release of funds."
With the deal now signed, Young
said that had increased the confi-
dence of the Japanese government
and Mitsubishi, who now see T&T
as a bigger potential market for fur-
Among the benefits T&T stood
to gain from the new deal, Young
said, was money from the sale of
gas from the plant, while Govern-
ment was a 20 per cent shareholder
in the project.
While the main output of the
project was methanol, Young said
there would also be associated
downstream projects with the gen-
eration of 1,000 jobs.
"This will bring employment to
the La Brea community," he said.
Nicholas: I didn't sign off
Last night, Nicholas said he did
not sign off on the initial agreement
"because I did not think it was prop-
er to sign off on any deal on election
He said he believed it would have
been more appropriate for the
incoming government, which ever
party was elected into office.
President and CEO of the Massy
Group, Gervase Warner, confirmed
the amended deal yesterday, say-
"When we negotiate with who-
ever the government is at any point
in time we would always be trying
to negotiate something that makes
sense to the country so we would
have had those types of conversa-
tions with the last government and
we would have continued negoti-
ating with them to get to a point
where what we had in place was
something that we felt was equitable
Health Minister Terrence Deyals-
ingh yesterday said the number of
Zika cases they had recorded were
inaccurate and there were more
than the 247 confirmed cases, with
the likelihood that the figure was
in the thousands.
He was speaking to the media
during a mosquito eradication exer-
cise at Boissierre Village, Maraval.
Members of the Insect Vector,
Army Rapid Response, Diego Martin
Regional Corporation and Zika Task
Force were present.
The exercise began at the Ellerslie
Plaza car park and took the group
up Vallot Street, across Harold and
down Tapti Road.
During the exercise, Deyalsingh
visited the home of several residents
pointing out places that were poten-
tial breeding places for the mosqui-
He shook his head and steupsed
several times as he walked away from
several premises with old abandoned
vehicles, rubbish and empty bottles.
Deyalsingh said the purpose of
the exercise was to demonstrate the
fight against the aedes aegypti had
"We are keeping up the fight in
St George West, where the bulk of
the cases are coming. There are 247
confirmed and 78 pregnant women
and 84 in St George West, which is
30 to 40 per cent of the cases. To
that end we are stepping up our
activities in St George West," he said.
Deyalsingh said the 200-plus cases
of Zika were the confirmed cases by
blood test and 84 cases were in St
Acting Chief Medical Officer
(CMO), Dr Clive Tilluckdharry, stood
beside Deyalsingh and confirmed
when asked whether the figure of
people with Zika was numbering in
"With the rash, fever, headaches
is Zika, the number of cases in the
thousands, that is Zika," he said.
His advice for couples attempting
to have children: "You can get preg-
nant you know, but take the neces-
sary precautions and keep your envi-
rons free of the aedes aegypti. Use
bed nets, insect repellent, not all
pregnant women with Zika end up
During the tour, Deyalsingh said
Government could only do so much
as he pointed out several homes were
a breeding ground for mosquitoes
and the population had to get on
He described as "shocking" one
case in which they found 30 beef
bottles in a derelict vehicle. Several
of the bottles had water in them
with mosquito larvae.
"I am pleading with the public
for them to take part in the solutions.
It is a co-ordinated response. This
is not only in T&T, it is globally who
"We saw another house where
there were 30 bottles and 30 poten-
tial breeding sites in one residence.
The population is still not getting
the message we want.
"Spreading is not the only answer.
The more we spray the more resist-
ance is the mosquito. We have to
make sure there are no breeding
sites," he said.
Tilluckdharry said aerial spraying
was not effective when questioned
about the virus.
Deyalsingh said all corporations
also needed to step up their game.
He said Government had increased
the fine from $300 up to $3,500 for
residents with unkept lots under the
Yellow Fever Regulations but some
property owners were calling him
to either get those fees waived or
the period for payment extended.
He said, however, it was time for
property owners to take responsi-
bility in the fight against Zika.
One resident complained to
Deyalsingh that the corporation was
not picking up derelict vehicles but
a checker from the regional corpo-
ration who was on hand quickly dis-
pelled that thought.
"That s not true, I work here and
I know they pick up the vehicles,"
the checker said.
Chairman of the Diego Martin
Regional Corporation, Katy Christo-
pher, said the Ministry of Health
sprayed the communities but as a
corporation they did four clean-up
"We are cleaning water courses
in every district for the next two
months. We normally do secondary
drains under the cycle and we are
doing what we can with a limited
budget and being creative," she
Breakdown of Zika cases by
• St George West: 91.
• St George Central: 39.
• St George East: 30.
• St Andrew/St David 4.
• Caroni: 20.
• Victoria: 45.
• St patrick: 12.
• Nariva/Mayaro: 0.
• Tobago: 6.
• Unknown: 8.
• Non-citizen: 1.
Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh presents Maraval resident Allison
Welch-Dick and her son, Khalil, with mosquito zappers during the ministry's
mosquito eradication exercise yesterday in Boissierre Village, Maraval.
PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
Zika cases now likely in thousands---CMO
Red flags on La Brea methanol plant so...
Govt signs amended deal
Mitsubishi Gas Chemical, Mitsubishi
Corporation and Mitsubishi Heavy
Industries will own 26.25 per cent,
26.25 per cent and 17.5 per cent
interests in the project, while NGC and
Massy will have the remaining 20 per
cent and 10 per cent stakes
The proposed project also includes
construction of a dimethyl ether plant.
The complex is expected to produce
one million tonnes of methanol and
20,000 tonnes of dimethyl ether a year.
Work on the complex is planned to
be completed in June 2018.
On August 8, 2016, Imbert,
accompanied by Young, Minister of
Energy Nicole Olivierre received a
Japanese and local delegation for the
ceremonial signing of the Amendment
Agreement, the Letter of Comfort and
the Attorney General's Opinion, related
to the project agreement for the
establishment of a natural gas to
petrochemical complex for the
production of methanol and dimethyl
ether (DME) at Union Industrial Estate,
The establishment of the plant is a
collaboration among Japan's Mitsubishi
Gas Chemical Company Inc, Mitsubishi
Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy
Industries, the NGC and the Massy
Group of Companies.
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