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NGC head dares business leaders to be transformative

Published: 
Sunday, July 15, 2018
Reyaz Ahamad, senior vice president, T&T Chamber; from left, with Travis Ali, executive director, Advance Foam Ltd; Nigel Edwards, executive director, Unit Trust Corporation; Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon; Gerry Brooks, NGC chairman; and Gabriel Faria, CEO of the T&T Chamber PICTURE FREDERIC DUBRAY

Delivering a powerful address on the need to transform, NGC group chairman, Gerry C Brooks, shared an energy sector perspective, including a focus on NGC repositioning its business in the context of a changing regional and global ecosystem. Brooks was part of a distinguished panel of guests including Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry, at a recent T&T Chamber Industry and Commerce Business Outlook breakfast meeting.

With a focus on energy and the economy the NGC Chairman emphasised that there are green shoots of growth in T&T’s economy underpinned by a rebound in the energy sector. That rebound is being propelled by increased production of natural gas which is projected to increase to 3.8bcf in 2018, 3.9bcf in 2019 and 4.05 bcf in 2020.

This enhanced production is being supported by improved pricing for ammonia, methanol and LNG from the nadir (lows) of 2016. This augers well for foreign direct investment (FDI) improvements, USD earnings, and a trickle-down effect through the economy. Increased income from the new royalty gas will also supplement both GDP ad US$ earnings in 2018 and beyond.

He emphasised that T&T businesses must remain disciplined and focused to ensure competitiveness and improved productivity. He urged businessmen to leverage unused capacity in their manufacturing plants to find new markets and to explore the several partial scope and bilateral treaties with Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala and other territories to improve export sales and earnings, recommending that they capitalise on the recently created Exim facility and other recently created government initiatives.

Brooks provided a comprehensive economic review, noting that several important country indicators were poised to improve in 2018 with GDP expected to turn positive at around one per cent.

He attributed NGC’s improved profitability of 37 per cent over 2017 figures to a focus on cost containment, productivity and margin management, leadership and improved market pricing.

Referring to the transformative approach to its contract architecture and framework, Brooks reaffirmed that “a secure supply of gas is our main imperative as a domestic aggregator.” He noted that excellent progress has been made in increasing supply as well as on streamlining contract provisions, completing negotiations and resolving $4.7 billion in claims.

Brooks noted that the infrastructure capex spend of NGC in the next two years would exceed US$2 billion which will provide considerable commercial opportunity for the business sector.

Additionally, US$3 billion of foreign direct investment is under active consideration with a view to locating new plants at estates including Union Industrial Estate in La Brea.

“Dare to be transformative” was his call to action as he encouraged businesses to change their current business models and take bold, yet calculated risks necessary for transformative growth.

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