Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 8th 2014 Contents amount of money will be,” he said.
Jitsumatsu spoke to the Business Guardian on April 30 at
the La Brea Community Centre, Brighton Anglican Primary
School, La Brea.
Jitsumatsu said it would take roughly two years to build the
“The final investment decision will be made by August. By
the end of this year, we will begin site preparation. These plants
will be built simultaneously. We want to commission and then
start commercial operations in 2017,” he said.
He said the DME plant is an environmentally friendly source
of energy that can replace diesel.
“Our agreement with the Government is to create industrial
use of this and the replacement of diesel products, and to help
the country become competitive. It is better than importing
liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). The Government of T&T has
been importing a high volume of crude to produce diesel and
LPG. T&T is rich in gas resources,” Jitsumatsu said.
He said the DME fuel can eventually be used to replace diesel
in vehicles similar to compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles.
“Rather than rely on diesel, T&T can use DME as an alternative
fuel in the future for vehicles. DME comes from natural gas.
The change will not be rapid. It would be similar concept to
natural gas vehicles. This is one of the main reasons the Gov-
ernment of T&T is supporting this venture,” he said.
He spoke about the methanol plant to be built.
“Unless it is consumed locally, methanol will go to the global
market. Both Mitsubishi Gas Chemical and Mitsubishi Corpo-
ration are leading producers and marketeer of methanol. Mit-
subishi Chemical owns the technology for the production of
methanol and DME. Methanex is a giant in the Methanol market,
but they do not actually own a licence to produce methanol.
However, Mitsubishi Gas has been producing its own technology
for more than 50 years. This has been exported to the Middle
East, Africa, South America and other parts of the world,” Jit-
T&T as an investment hub
Jitsumatsu said T&T is an excellent investment site and it
is “unfortunate” more Japanese companies are not in T&T.
“T&T is not a very familiar company to Japanese companies
because of the far distance. In 2011, we were invited to a project
opportunity in T&T. It is important when we consider the
investment, how the Government invited a company like ours.
Over the last three years in our relationship with Neal and
Massy and the Government, we have recognised T&T is open
to a project like this,” Jitsumatsu said.
He said the Japanese economy, which is one of the G7 leading
industrialised countries, has “suffered” in the last 20 years, but
the present Japanese government is taking measures to correct
“The current government is making quite some effort to
stimulate economic activity. With Mitsubishi in T&T, it makes
way for other companies from Japan to come here.”
Jitsumatsu said there has been a change in the balance of
energy the world over.
“We are not finding many governments that are quite sup-
portive to do this type of investment with T&T’s stable and
competitive conditions,” Jitsumatsu said.
He said construction of the plants will create jobs.
“During peak time of construction, we estimate in the area
of about 1,500 jobs. Once the operations start, we estimate 80
or more jobs as direct employment. There will also be indirect
jobs, such as service providers, such as transportation, catering,
food and other small business jobs.”
Jitsumatsu said they are trying hard to use local labour, espe-
cially from nearby communities, and foreign labour only as a
“T&T has the experience of building these types of petro-
chemical plants so there are these skills here. It is our under-
standing and expectation and we are trained to maximise the
local content for this project as much as possible. The first
priority is to create employment for the surrounding areas. Sec-
ondly, we want to maximise the use of T&T skills, then our
last resort: going abroad for skills that may not be here.”
He said once completed and operational, these plants will
have a “broad impact” on the national economy.
“It creates hard currency, it creates industrialisation of the
area, it brings in taxes to the treasury of T&T. This wealth will
also impact on small and medium enterprises and expands the
He said they have developed a relationship with the community
of La Brea and continue to consult with them on environmental
and other issues.
“When we first started, we said there must be a mutual rela-
tionship between the project and the community. We have been
putting a lot of manpower and resources into this area. However,
DME and methanol have been known to be low impact on the
environment and we need to continue to consult with the com-
munity,” Jitsumatsu said.
Unlike past problems where many residents were unhappy
with the last administration’s plans to build the Alutrint smelter
plant in the south western peninsula, Jitsumatsu said they con-
tinue to communicate “step by step” with the community.
“Consulting with each and talking is the only way to make
this project acceptable, otherwise we cannot proceed.”
MAY 2014 • WEEK TWO www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
NEWS | BG5
From Page 4
Company to push hard
for use of local labour
and construction (EPC) price agreement
Final investment decision
Site preparation start
Commercial operations start
Q4 2016 to Q1 2017
Mitsubishi Gas Chemical (MGC)...
... is one of the largest methanol producers in the world.
Its methanol business owns and operates two joint
ventures in Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, from which it
markets methanol globally.
According to MGC’s Web site, new capacity in both lo-
cations, and a new location, Brunei, in southeast Asia, will
increase the company’s global methanol market position,
bringing it closer to the markets and more support of
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has constructed
three contracts methanol plants in Saudi Arabia,
Venezuela and Brunei.
With the co-operation of Mitsubishi Gas Chemical
Company, MHI has developed the methanol process. The
main feature of the Mitsubishi methanol process is high-
efficiency in the reaction and energy saving for the
The process utilises a new type of reactor, called a
“super converter”, a new catalyst, MAC (Mitsubishi com-
pressor), and other equipment to achieve high perform-
The two Venezuelan plants produce 750,000 and
850,000 million tonnes a year, respectively.
Methanol, made mainly from natural gas, is used as a
raw material in the manufacture of a wide range of prod-
ucts, including adhesives, agrochemicals, paints and syn-
The global demand for methanol is currently 60 million
tonnes per year. This demand is expected to see a four to
five per cent growth in the coming years.
DME (dimethyl ether) is a clean, colourless gas that is
easy to liquefy and transport. It has remarkable potential
for increased use as an automotive fuel, for electric
power generation, and in such domestic applications as
heating and cooking.
Recently, China has been blending DME with liquefied
petroleum gas in significant volumes. The Chinese gov-
ernment has been promoting DME blends. Egypt is also
developing a DME project to reduce dependence on LPG
Director of Caribbean Gas Chemical Ltd
Bio of Chikara Jitsumatsu
Jitsumatsu has spent 20 years in the petrochemical
industry, including project development and product
marketing. He has experience in international project
development in engineering, financing, project management
and new market promotion.
Caribbean Gas Chemical Ltd, director
Director and executive adviser to general
manager in a project development company in T&T
Initial development stage of project in T&T
May 2011-April 2013
Appointment to International Methanol Company, director
March 2007-March 2011
Director of methanol manufacturing company in Saudi Arabia
Appointment to Thai Chemical Company, director
October 2005-June 2007
Director of formaldehyde and glue
manufacturing company in Thailand
Mitsubishi Corporation, deputy GM, for
C1 Chemical Project Development Office
April 2005-April 2013
Project manager for Metor II in Venezuela
Manager for methanol downstream projects
Manager for methanol global marketing
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