Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 20th 2013 Contents BG4 NEWS
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt JUNE 2013 • WEEK THREE
There are many opportunities
in T&T s market, said Alejan-
dro Bonoris, sales director,
Agira, and representative of
the Argentine Chamber for
compressed natural gas (CNG).
"We are present in over 30 countries all
over the world. We think as T&T as the first
big step to enter the Caribbean. We have
already started to do business here and we
think this is a very promising country. Last
year we sold gas compressors for gas stations.
We sold these units through our distributors
Equip-US. Through this company, we won a
tender from the National Gas Company (NGC)
last year. Through them we sold dispensers
and storages," he said.
T&T has been on a CNG drive for the last
15 years, with former finance minister Winston
Dookeran stating in the fiscal 2012 budget that
the Government planned to "embark on an
ambitious programme" for increasing the use
of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).
"This is part of our overall strategy to reduce
the use of petroleum products and so reduce
the size of the fuel subsidy. We are also imple-
menting special measures to encourage the
construction of multi-fuel stations to dispense
gasoline, diesel and natural gas," Dookeran
Dookeran also spoke of a reduction in import
duty by 50 per cent on vehicles which are
manufactured to use natural gas, and have an
engine capacity smaller than 2300 cc. This
reduction in duty will cover the period from
January 1st2011 to December 31st 2015.
Bonoris said the energy relationship between
T&T and Argentina is growing and Argentine
companies are willing to share their CNG
"I think as we have had a lot of experience
in CNG migration in Argentina. We think that
our model is perfectly adapted for T&T. I have
had many meetings with businesses here. I
think there is a huge potential here for CNG
in terms of environmental issues. I notice that
the environmental awareness is growing in
T&T. On the other hand, T&T is a large oil and
gas producer in the region and these days, we
are buying gas from you and you re well-placed
for new gas applications like CNG," he said.
Earlier this year representatives from NGC
"They went to look at Argentine gas stations
and got a good picture of the situation there
in order to follow the Argentine model. They
also saw different technologies that we are
using there, like compressors with gas engines
and new cylinder technologies. They also saw
Argentine conversion kits," Bonoris said.
Bonoris spoke to the Guardian last week on
the first day of the Trade and Investment (TIC)
Convention held at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad
Argentina had a large delegation at this year s
TIC, which took place from June 12 to 15.
Bonoris boasted of Agira s global presence.
"Once Agira enters T&T, there is an oppor-
tunity for other Argentine companies to enter
this market. Just last month in Turkey, we
installed one of the largest gas stations in Europe
with our technology."
The Argentine ambassador, Marcelo Salviolo,
at the opening ceremony had said the Argentine
pavilion, together with various presentations
from the different business chambers will place
emphasis on Argentina s successes in the area
of equipping and construction of industrial
plants for the production of CNG, propane and
food production plants.
Argentina imported US$2 billion worth of
LNG from T&T in 2012.
Companies and business chambers
At TIC, Danilo Menant, represented the
Chamber of Food Processors of Argentina
(COPAL) and Argentina s Food and Suppliers
Industry (ADEPIA), which represent 45 com-
He said these companies manufacture equip-
ment for food processing.
"This is machinery for food processing, most-
ly for meat and related products. Beef is also
one of Argentina s main staples. Another exam-
ple is that some of these companies manufacture
packaging lines for citrus and fruit. This group
of companies offer solutions for manufacturers,"
He said they are targeting food processors
in T&T and the Caribbean.
"Once we get into T&T, we would be in a
strong position to move up the Caribbean. In
terms of equipment, there is a belt of food
processors in the Caribbean region who depend
on imports to expand their industries, so it is
an opportunity for us as we are here to show
we can supply technology," Menant said.
Menant said Argentine companies that pro-
duce this manufacturing equipment also cus-
tomise their equipment for smaller Caribbean
"It is top-notch technology for emerging
He said there are business people in the T&T
poultry industry interested in buying equipment
He said the technology from Argentina is
good as they follow international standards.
"Argentine companies have always innovated
and must continue to innovate. That is how
we survive in a globally competitive world."
Although T&T is accustomed to buying
industrial products from North America or
Europe, Menant said this is changing in a world
where economies have opened up and now
T&T has the choice of Latin American countries
"We are in an era of globalisation and we
want to participate and to also have a share in
this market. In a globalised wo, the historical
relationships tend to blur," Menant said.
On Monday, following the TIC show, Menant
said in an e-mail from Argentina that "a lot of
interest" was shown in their products and they
would be doing quotes for potential customers.
"We had received a high amount of demand
regarding food products, mainly milk and canned
fruits. Also, interesting demands were received
in the case of technological processes and turn
key plants. All those demands will be quoted
in the coming weeks. We believe that the market
shows great commercial potential."
Continued on Page 5
Argentina at TIC 2013:
Country pushing CNG,
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