Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Come clean on Galeota Port project

I wish to request that a full and detailed explanation of the business case and purpose of the Galeota Port be given to T&T citizens who are actually footing the bill.

I notice that Phase 2 of this project under the direction of NEC is now in the request for tenders stage, presumably after Phase 1 nears completion.

The Galeota Port project was conceived in the days of the PNM government who envisioned a major industrial estate being built in Guayaguayare.

Though never stated it has to be assumed that this "industrial estate" would be involved in manufacturing or somehow otherwise utilising the natural gas that comes ashore near Galeota. Now that we know (although this was actually well-known at the time) that new amounts of gas will NOT be arriving at Galeota, and that the present rates of gas production are falling, the whole justification for this expenditure on this port appears to have disappeared.

The entire project included a fishing boat facility at Guayaguayare Bay which has been completed for some months now, and officially opened, but in fact is still not in use due to its poor design, and unless considerable additional sums are spent, will probably never be used.

It seems strange to those of us who enquire about such things that having wasted large amounts of taxpayers' money on the fishing port, that we should now waste even more money on a shipping port for which there is no longer any justification.

Please keep in mind that the port facilities at Galeota started off under the control of bpTT. The previous government confiscated it in order to implement their grand idea of a large port for ocean-going vessels. In so doing they added millions and millions of dollars in operating costs to the offshore oil/gas companies by forcing them to relocate to La Brea, instead of simply repairing their Galeota facility and continuing operations.

Reg Potter