Saturday, February 17, 2018

T&T, China talk trade, energy


POSSIBLE PARTNERSHIP: Sangyan Xu, left, third secretary Commercial Office of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Trinidad and Tobago; Selwyn Lashley, permanent secretary (Ag), Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs; Huang Xingyuan, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Trinidad and Tobago; Kevin Ramnarine, Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs; Liu Ying, first secretary Commercial Office of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Trinidad and Tobago; and Richard Jeremie, chief technical officer, Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs.

Mark Fraser

Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine and new Chinese Ambassador Huang Xingyuan met on Monday to hold discussions on energy and trade relations between Trinidad and Tobago and China, a Ministry release said yesterday. 

Trinidad and Tobago exported five cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2011, and four in 2012 to China, the release added. 

Discussions were held on possible partnerships in energy investments in Africa as it relates to the development of natural gas reserves, which have the potential for development of LNG export projects to Asia, the release said. 

Talks also focused on the impact of the proliferation of shale gas in the US and the expansion of the Panama Canal, both of which could lead Trinidad and Tobago’s LNG market shifting more towards Asia. 

Chinese companies have a significant presence operating in the local energy sector, including: 

• China Investment Corporation (CIC), which acquired ten per cent of Train I of the Atlantic Facility in 2012

• Chaoyang Petroleum (Trinidad)—owned 50/50 by the Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and Sinopec, and holds a 25.5 per cent and 25 per cent interest respectively in Blocks 3a and 2C. These two blocks are operated by BHP Billiton

• Sinopec Overseas Oil and Gas Antilles (Trinidad) Ltd (SOOGL), a subsidiary of Sinopec, and has a 65 per cent interest in the East Brighton Sub Block A and 45.5 per cent interest in East Brighton Sub Block B.

The talks between the Ministry of Energy and the Chinese Ambassador took place days before President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, is scheduled to pay a three-day State visit to this country starting from May 31. 

Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan are expected to visit this country from May 31 to June 2.

“The visit of the Chinese president will follow closely on the heels of the Vice-President of the United States, Joe Biden, who will pay an official visit to this country during the period May 27 to May 28, 2013,” a  release from the Office of the Prime Minister stated on Monday.

President Anthony Carmona, SC, issued an invitation to Xi to visit this country, the release added.

“This visit is of particular historical significance as it will be the first visit of a president of the People’s Republic of China to the English-speaking Caribbean,” the release stated.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar noted, “There is a strong Chinese presence in Trinidad and Tobago, namely in the areas of culture and trade as evidenced by the growing recognition of the Chinese New Year by citizens of Trinidad and Tobago and the numerous businesses being opened across the country.”