Last update: 11-Dec-2013 6:16 am
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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In aftermath of Kenya terrorist attack, minister assures: Steps taken to secure T&T’s energy
Failure to maintain health, safety, security and environment (HSSE) standards could cost T&T billions of dollars, Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine warned yesterday. “HSSE is cultural and affects the economic side too. This must be embedded in our organisations and must flow from the board to the CEO,” he said.
“One accident or unplanned shutdown can cost the country billions of dollars. The Macondo disaster in the Gulf of Mexico three years ago changed the industry that we have today, and has impacted BP’s operation worldwide.” Ramnarine spoke yesterday at the opening of the American Chamber of Commerce of T&T’s (AmchamT&T) 17th annual HSSE Conference and Exhibition at the Hyatt Regency in Port-of-Spain.
In his wide ranging keynote address the minister predicted that 2014 will be a positive year for T&T’s energy sector—much better than 2012 and this year, which will be good for this country’s economy. He said BP’s maintenance of its facilities will contribute to a stronger energy sector.
“This is in keeping with best practice and I would say that turn around was co-ordinated with the Ministry of Energy. The energy sector will emerge stronger from the maintenance works in the last few years. We have weathered this period through micro management of natural gas supply demand balance. “The year 2014, as far as natural gas production is concerned, will be a positive year,” he said.
Ramnarine also said terrorist attacks in some countries poses a HSSE risk. He referred to the recent case of T&T national Ravindra Ramrattan who was killed in last weekend’s terrorist attacks at a shopping mall in Kenya. “Terrorism has now targeted home and we saw what happened to Ramrattan in Kenya. Kenya is a country we have a great relationship with and we have been advising them on their own energy sector,” he said.
Although, T&T's energy sector has not been the target of terrorist attacks, Ramnarine said the Government has taken steps to secure the country’s energy operations. “The Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of National Security have co-ordinated on several fronts for the last two years, one of which is the establishment of the Energy/Security Board. Ninety per cent of the natural gas passes through south east Trinidad. That is a critical part of the country that has to be protected,” he said.
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