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6 plants closed in Point Lisas

Valve fails on BG platform

By \\\\\ Asha Javeed asha.javeed@trinidadexpress.com

A valve failure on one of BG Trinidad and Tobago’s platforms has resulted in the shutdown of six plants on the Point Lisas Industrial Estate.

On Wednesday, BG experienced a valve failure on its Dolphin platform (one of the major gas-producing offshore platforms), which is located in the East Coast Marine Area. 

It immediately halted production, which forced National Gas Company (NGC), the recipient of the natural gas, to cut its supply to the Point Lisas plants.

The plants are Arcelor Mittal, Nu Iron, N2000 and three plants at Yara.

Cassandra Patrovani-Sylvester, NGC’s vice-president, Human and Corporate Relations, in a statement to the Express yesterday said:

“Two days ago, BG experienced a ‘Safety Critical Issue’ on their platform, which resulted in an uplanned shutdown. That, of course, impacted the supply of gas to NGC significantly and required curtailment of the supply.

“As a major supplier, the unexpected drop in supply from BG could have threatened the National Grid. In our effort to stabilise the gas supply chain and ensure the safety and well-being of all concerned, six plants were shut down,” she said.

When asked when the matter was expected to be resolved, Patrovani-Sylvester said they had no end in immediate sight.

“The curtailment has impacted our operations. We continue to work with the NGC to minimise the impact,” said a spokeperson from Arcelor Mittal.

In a statement yesterday, BG stated: “BG Trinidad and Tobago is performing maintenance activity on a critical piece of equipment and is working towards re-instating production within 24 to 36 hours.”

Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine explained that gas from the Dolphin Field and the Dolphin Deep Field were transported to that platform. “They acted in accordance with the safety protocol,” said Ramnarine.

“This was an unplanned outage. But natural gas will be maintained to T&TEC to ensure a steady electricity supply  to the entire country.”

Ramnarine, who had previously worked at BG before he entered politics, said he was given an assurance that the matter would be fixed within the next 24 hours.

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