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Gas supply woes continue for Atlantic

Published: 
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Walid Jabba Chamie, left, of Caribbean Safety Products, gives Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon an overview of a safety jacket which was on display during her visit to the booth following the opening ceremony of AMCHAM’s 2017 HSSE Conference and Exhibition at Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. Also in photo are AMCHAM CEO, Nirad Tewarie, second from left, and AMCHAM president, Mitchell De Silva.

Fluctuations in the gas supply continue to pose challenges for Atlantic. According to CEO Nigel Darlow, the situation is burning up the company’s bottom line and tearing into the operations of its plant.

“This has been a year which has again seen very significant gas supply shortages to our plant, with rates down at around 70 per cent utilisation. This has had a significant impact on the business, not only the considerable lost revenue opportunity, but the operational challenges of having to continually adjust to gas supply fluctuations,” he said at yesterday’s opening ceremony of AmchamTT’s HSSE Conference and Exhibition at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port-of-Spain.

What is clear, Darlow said, is that Atlantic’s plant is not on steady operation which makes things more complicated by putting additional strain on plant and equipment as well as the people operating and maintaining them. This has had an adverse effect on the reliability of the plant which is “lower than normal”, he added.

However, the Trinidad Onshore Compression (TROC) gas supply project, which became operational in April, provides “an important source of increased gas supply,” said Darlow, who expects the gas supply situation to improve over the short to medium term when Juniper increases its flows into the system and other sources come online.

On the issue of safety, he said Atlantic has seen a drop in its performance.

“Back in August we had a gas release on Train 3 due to a failure of a control valve. Fortunately, nobody was hurt in the incident but things could have turned out very differently. The train was shutdown for 11 days while repairs were undertaken and safety check carried out.

Then a month afterwards, Atlantic had a fire on one of our nine power generation units. Again, nobody was injured but it did cause damage to the unit,” he said.

Darlow said the company had spent a lot of time investigating the incidents and had put in place corrective action to ensure there is no repeat. Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon, in her remarks at the event, said Government is serious about the Cybercrime Bill.

“To boost confidence and attract investors, the Government is treating seriously with the matter of cyber-security and cyber-crime. The Cybercrime Bill, which is currently before a Joint Select Committee of Parliament, seeks to create offences related to cybercrimes and repeal and replace existing, outdated legislation,” she said.

“Some of the new offences in the Bill relate to the illegal access to computer systems, illegal data interference, offences against critical infrastructure, computer-related fraud and computer-related forgery.

Additionally, new agencies will be established to boost the law enforcement system to streamline operational efficiency through better allocation of resources.”