OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF THE UNITED NATIONAL CONGRESS, The Official Opposition In The Republic Of Trinidad And Tobago.

MP Lee: “Atlas Methanol Plant Closure Shows Energy Sector Collapse”

MP Lee: “Atlas Methanol plant closure shows Energy sector collapse despite government’s old talk of stability”

The decision by Methanex to idle the Atlas Methanol plant in September, reducing this country’s methanol production by at least 1 million tonnes per year, threatening national revenue, is confirmation that our energy sector is still in trouble and collapsing despite all of the “old talk” by the Government that they have stabilized the energy sector.

This move by the world’s largest producer and supplier of methanol to shut down one of the region’s largest plants which provides millions in revenue, forex, and employment for T&T is not just a massive blow for our economy but is a dilemma that has been totally manufactured by this Government’s persistent failure to address the gas shortage for the last eight years.

While this government continues to use the “Dragon Gas coming” plaster for all of our gas shortage problems, the reality is, had they placed equal emphasis on aggressively incentivizing the production of gas and creating an attractive environment for the production of gas within our border in the last eight years we would have had enough gas to keep plants such as Atlas in operation.

The shutdown of Atlas means that the government’s feeble excuse that their new pricing negotiations protected our revenue streams despite a fall in gas supply will be proven totally false as this country will lose out on millions of tax revenue during a time of high global prices as we reduce our sale of methanol to the international market by at least one million tonnes per year

It is clear that the Minister of Energy’s claim one month ago at the TT Energy Conference that the “NGC has been meeting its mandate” is skewed when major downstreamers like Methanex have to face the dilemma of shutting down viable plants. There can be no stability, security, or sustainability in the energy sector when we lose productive capacity, when we witness the shutdown of major plants, and even worse, experience a loss of revenue contribution to the national economy.

In the past the government has blamed plant closures on plants being “outdated and inefficient”, but the Atlas plant is one of the most modern, productive, and efficient plants. It has simply become a victim of a government that has failed to stimulate gas production throughout its entire tenure. As a concerned nation we have to ask, is this a sign of more plant closures, more loss of revenue, and an even greater contraction of the energy sector to come?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top