Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 18th 2013 Contents A10
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No decision has been
taken on whether the gas
from the T&T/Venezuelan
joint venture Loran Man-
atee gas field should be
sent to Venezuela or come
to T&T, says Energy Min-
ister Kevin Ramnarine.
He was speaking during
Monday night s 2014
budget debate in Parlia-
ment as he cleared the air on allegations
made by PNM MP Colm Imbert.
Imbert, producing several Internet
stories, in earlier debate had accused
Government of remaining silent on the
joint venture agreement signed with
Venezuela last week on the gas field.
Imbert said it would benefit
Venezuela, since gas would be piped
from T&T and sold in Venezuela.
Imbert said that was "betrayal" and
PNM leader Keith Rowley said it was
But Ramnarine, in contributing to
the budget debate, said while Venezuela
had expressed the view that gas from
its portion of the field should go to
Guiria, "T&T has said we feel it makes
more economic sense if their gas comes
Ramnarine said there were many
stories on the Internet, "stories written
on top of stories," and the truth of the
matter was that the agreement so far
had not touched on where the gas
would go to.
"It s not true all of our
gas will be going to
He said when Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar met Venezuelan
President Nicholas Maduro
recently she urged him to
conclude the Loran Man-
atee (LM) negotiations,
which had been outstand-
ing after the initiative was opened under
the tenure of late Venezuelan President
Ramnarine said a Venezuelan team
came to T&T in July to negotiate with
Energy Ministry officials for "two days
and two nights."
Noting that 73 per cent of the gas
is in Venezuela, Ramnarine said what
had been agreed to by both sides was
a governance structure and various
teams to proceed on how they devel-
oped the LM field.
He said one team was a directing
entity, comprising Chevron, PDVSA
and BGtt. Another, he added, was an
investing committee, comprising the
four companies involved in the venture,
and the third was an executing enti-
ty.He said the discussions between both
sides would crystallise information to
be sent to a ministerial team on the
issues on which T&T and Venezuela s
energy ministers would sit.
St Lucia s Minister of Education,
Human Resource Development and
Labour Robert Lewis yesterday
emphasised the importance of
strengthening Caribbean ties as it
would lead to greater development.
He was speaking at the signing of a
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
between the People s Partnership Gov-
ernment and the St Lucian Government
for the distribution of 3,300 laptops to
St Lucia s students.
The event took place at Capital Plaza,
Lewis said the devices would be given
to Form Four students but plans were
on stream to have them introduced
from Form One.
He said St Lucia believed students
who were most in need of the laptops
were the ones writing Caribbean Sec-
ondary Education Certificate (CSEC)
exams which entailed a great deal of
Also speaking was Education Minister
Dr Tim Gopeesingh who said the pur-
chase of the laptops by the Government
resulted in discussions between St
Lucia s Prime Minister Dr Kenny
Anthony and T&T s Prime Minister
He added: "Today (yesterday) is the
culmination of the work we had done
together to bring this to fruition.
"This year we ordered the extra 3,300
and therefore the MOU is part of the
relationship between the Government
of St Lucia and the Government of
T&T so that the St Lucian Government
pays for their 3,300 laptops."
Saying each laptop cost $2,700
Gopeesingh added the T&T Govern-
ment also was committed to assisting
St Lucia with technical support.
Asked why it was decided that the
T&T Government would purchase the
laptops on behalf of St Lucia, Lewis
said T&T began the procurement of
"The more you buy the cost will
therefore be cheaper. Trinidad also has
software already assigned on the laptops
and we would have learnt a lot from
Trinidad and Tobago as we have been
doing in the last few years," Lewis
St Lucia gets 3,300
laptops from T&T
No decision on
The Water and Sewerage Authority is recognising customer loyalty at its nine customer service centres
as part of Customer Appreciation Week to mark the authority's 48th anniversary. The lucky 48th
customer at each centre will receive a gift of a food hamper while tokens will be handed out generally. At
the authority's St Joseph head office on Monday Natasha Griffith, centre, of El Chorro Road, Maracas,
was the lucky 48th customer to pay her bill. Making the presentation were the authority's head of
corporate communications Ellen Lewis, right, and acting comptroller of metering Audra Mungroo. The
week ends on Friday.
There is a questionable pattern
of expenditure regarding the
Alutrint plant initiated by the
People s National Movement
(PNM) administration, including
a $95,000 monthly salary, plus
travelling allowance and an Audi
A6 for Alutrint s acting CEO, says
Energy Minister Kevin Ramnar-
Speaking during the 2014 budget
debate on Monday night, Ram-
narine said the Government, mov-
ing on with its bid to develop
southwest Trinidad, had signed an
agreement for handover of the land
from the Alutrint plant back to
These lands would be assigned
to Mitsubishi, which was building
a plant in that area, he added.
Ramnarine said PNM leader Dr
Keith Rowley had once again got
it wrong when Rowley said in his
budget reply that Government was
not developing southwest Trinidad.
He also said Rowley must say
clearly if his Vision 2030 plan to
rationalise the energy sector would
cause job loss.
Ramnarine said new investor,
Mitsubishi, needed a depth of 15
metres for its port facilities so that
deep-draught ships from Japan
would be able to dock and the
Brighton facilities would be
dredged to facilitate the necessary
He also said BP president Bob
Dudley was coming to T&T in a
few days for talks.
Ramnarine said BP---T&T s
biggest energy customer---recently
did a bypass on the Cassia oilfield.
"If BP sneezes, T&T catches a
cold," he added.
At the end of that maintenance
bypass exercise, he said, production
would be back up and "2014 will
return to its normal output," Ram-
narine said, adding gas production
has been steadied.
He said BP also was starting
production of the high-yield
Juniper field in 2014. BP has also
given an undertaking to use fab-
ricating-yard facilities at La Brea,
which would create 300 jobs and
similar spin-off economic benefits
for that area, he added.
Ramnarine said BP also had a
long unused field which it was now
optimistic about following seismic
"The results from those seismic
finds will propel T&T s economy
for at least another ten years," he
Ramnarine also updated infor-
mation on holdings by BgTT, BG
On the energy sector, Ramnarine
said oil production had been in
decline not because of the state of
the asset underground but because
of the deterioration of Trinmar,
"left by the PNM," above ground.
Ramnarine questions Alutrint $$
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