On 01 September 2015, the sod was officially turned for the start of a Natural Gas to Petrochemicals Complex at Union Industrial Estate (UIE), La Brea. This event was significant in the history of the energy sector of Trinidad and Tobago, as the project represents the first mega petrochemical complex to be delivered in Trinidad and Tobago in the last ten (10) years through the Public-Private Partnership model. The dimethyl ether (DME) component of the complex is also historic as it will take the country further downstream on the methanol value chain.
For National Energy, the start of construction of the new natural gas-to-petrochemicals complex is especially important as it marks the culmination of over two (2) years of intense and complex project development negotiations among the many parties involved. The project will be managed by the locally registered joint venture enterprise, Caribbean Gas Chemical Limited (CGCL) which is owned by the consortium of Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company Inc., Mitsubishi Corporation and local conglomerate Massy Holdings Limited. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Limited, an equity investor in the project, will perform the role of Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contractor responsible for construction of the Methanol and DME plants while The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (NGC), also an equity investor, will act as the DME off-taker.
As landlords of UIE, National Energy has a vested interest in CGCL’s success, as revenues are expected to be derived from the leasing of land. The importation of materials during construction of the plants is also expected to result in increased shipping activity at the Port of Brighton. As owners of the facility, La Brea Industrial Development Company Limited (LABIDCO) stands to benefit from increased revenue from port usage, logistical support, storage and warehousing. Operating Assets would also derive revenues from the provision of towage services during construction.
Construction of the CGCL Natural Gas–to-Methanol and DME Complex, which represents a capital investment of US$990 million, is earmarked to commence in Quarter 1 2016 and to be completed by Quarter 1 2019. At its peak of construction the project will employ 2000 workers while 150-160 permanent jobs are expected from operation of the plants with an equal number of indirect jobs being created. National Energy continues to work with its business partners and stakeholders to attract complementary services to UIE and La Brea Industrial Estate to support the project which will see the transformation of UIE into the next Point Lisas.