Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Energy sector gets confidence boost


IT'S A GO: Energy Minister Carolyn Seepersad–Bachan, second from right, examines a plaque, held by a model, commemorating the commissioning of the Air Liquide Plant at Point Lisas yesterday. Looking on, from right, are Albert Correa, managing director, ALTTL, Mike Graff, president and CEO, Air Liquide USA and Etienne Lepoutre, chief operating officer for the Caribbean. —Photo: TREVOR WATSON

(BI) Feedloader User

Confidence in the country's energy sector is rebounding, Energy Minister Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan said yesterday as she attended the commissioning of a machine on the Point Lisas Industrial Estate that will reduce downtime for billion-dollar chemical facilities undergoing overhaul.

The Air Separation Plant, operated by Air Liquide Trinidad and Tobago Ltd (ALTTL), is used to separate atmospheric air into its primary components- nitrogen and oxygen, and sometimes argon and other gases.

The process "can be considered the backbone of a downstream sector that relies on nitrogen and argon to sanitise its operations and ensure the unhindered production and supply of many of our industrial products including methanol and ammonia in a safe and reliable way", she said.

The plant is located at Caribbean Drive, Point Lisas.

Seepersad-Bachan said the new plant "will minimise the major concerns that operators have whenever they have to bring their plants down for maintenance. No longer will process downtime be incurred because of a shortage of nitrogen and argon".

The ALTTL, operating in Trinidad since 2002, owns and operates three air separation units and a steam methane reformer supplying gaseous oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen through a network of pipelines to customers which include Methanex, ArcelorMittal, Nu Iron, and PCS Nitrogen.

Seepersad-Bachan said confidence in the local energy sector was rebounding "and the fact that confidence and competitiveness are now trending upwards is directly linked to investments such as (ALTTL) which have helped to nudge our confidence ratings upwards".