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Trinidad Generation Unlimited at Union Industrial Estate
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National Energy’s multi-product marine terminals at Port of Point Lisas
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Rig repair works at Berth 3, Port of Brighton, La Brea

Welcome


Welcome to Trinidad and Tobago, your gateway to the Americas. Backed by over 100 years of success in the global energy industry and with a proven track record of foreign direct investment, Trinidad and Tobago is the leading Caribbean producer of oil and natural gas. Trinidad and Tobago has earned a reputation as an excellent investment location for international businesses and has one of the highest growth rates and per-capita income in the Caribbean and Latin America.

The energy sector has been strengthened by growth in the downstream petrochemical segment. At Point Lisas, on the western coast of Trinidad, resides the core of the country’s industrial complexes and ports, where there have been investments in petrochemicals —ammonia, urea, methanol and iron and steel. In fact, Trinidad and Tobago is the largest exporter of ammonia and methanol from a single site. Further south on the same coast, are four (4) Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) trains with one being the sixth largest exporter of LNG globally. Other industrial estates currently taking shape that would provide the necessary infrastructure for new projects. At the forefront of all petrochemical and energy-based industrial development is the National Energy Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (National Energy). A member of the NGC Group of Companies.

National Energy‘s role in the facilitation of new industry development

National Energy has pioneered several energy related developments in Trinidad and Tobago and as a result of our wealth of experience, we are poised and ready to welcome you to participate in Trinidad and Tobago’s world – renowned energy sector. We are the State organisation responsible for the promotion, development and facilitation of new energy- based and downstream industries in Trinidad and Tobago. National Energy has been at the forefront of energy-based development for over 35 years and as such is the first point of contact for investment opportunities in the downstream energy sub-sector. We deliver value to potential investors by partnering with them to advance projects from conceptualization to Final Investment Decision to construction. We do this through experts in the sector, strategic alliances and ready infrastructure such as industrial estates and ports.

Facilitation Services

We facilitate investment by providing the requisite support and assistance in the management of the project development process. Namely we:
  1. Employ an effective project management procedure that involves a stage-gate process for advancing projects.
  2. Present or assist potential investor in the presentation of projects for approvals to the relevant Government Ministries/Committees
  3. Assist with information/data to assist in making a Final Investment Decision
  4. Provide guidance and assistance on the acquisition of regulatory approvals.
  5. Introduce the project to relevant stakeholders, regulatory agencies and service providers.
  6. Facilitate negotiations of contracts
  7. Identify and prepare site and other infrastructure requirements.

National Energy is focused on further development in six key sectors:

 


Currently, land is available at our Union Industrial Estate (UIE) which has been prepared to handle heavy and light downstream gas based industries. The Estate is supplied with all amenities including natural gas supply, drainage, water and telecommunications. UIE is also supported by the Port of Brighton.

Benefits of Investing in Trinidad and Tobago

Investing in Trinidad and Tobago is beneficial as investors enjoy:
  1. Highly developed oil, petrochemical and steel industries.
  2. Access to developed and emerging markets through trade agreements
  3. Competitive energy costs
  4. Excellent investor facilitation services.
  5. Competitive raw material costs and availability.
  6. Competitive fiscal incentives
  7. Excellent infrastructure and support services for heavy industries as evidenced by the already developed industrial parks
  8. Excellent living standards and communities for foreign nationals and their families
  9. No foreign exchange controls
  10. Excellent infrastructure and support services for heavy industries as evidenced by the already developed industrial parks
  11. Advanced education and training facilities—e.g. The University of the West Indies (UWI), the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) and international schools

Details of Supporting Infrastructure


Union Industrial Estate & Port of Brighton
Land is currently available at our Union Industrial Estate (UIE) which has been prepared to handle heavy and light downstream gas based industries. The Estate is supplied with all amenities including natural gas supply, drainage, water and telecommunications. It is located approximately 1 km away from the La Brea Industrial Estate (LABIDCO) which provides acreage for the energy services industry. UIE is supported by the Port of Brighton which is just four (4) Km away and consists of a dock designed to accommodate Handymax vessels with a depth of 12.8m chart datum.

Point Lisas
Trinidad and Tobago is home to the world renowned Point Lisas Industrial Estate located on the western coast of Trinidad. The Estate is a hub for a variety of petrochemical plants including 11 ammonia plants, 7 methanol plants, a urea manufacturing plant, a natural gas-to-liquids processing facility and a steel mill. Point Lisas is also the site of two (2) power stations and a large reverse osmosis water desalination plant. National Energy has earmarked new sites in the Point Lisas area - Point Lisas North and Point Lisas South/East for industrial development. The proposed sites will be supported by the already established and well-known Port of Point Lisas, which is a multipurpose cargo facility operating on a 24/7 basis with six (6) commercial berths.

 

Selected Trinidad and Tobago Economic Indicators

 

 

Source: Central Statistical Office of Trinidad and Tobago

 


 

Gross Domestic product (GDP) of Trinidad and Tobago at Constant (2000) Prices (TT$ millions)

 

 


Source: Central Statistical Office

 

Petrochemical Exports 2014

 

 

A closer look at the Energy Sector


Over the years Trinidad and Tobago has maintained a steady oil and gas exploration programme on land and in shallow water, with cumulative production totaling over three (3) billion barrels of oil. While oil dominated the hydrocarbon sector in the early years, natural gas became the driver in the early 1990s.

Energy continues to be the mainstay of the economy, as it accounts for 42.1%of GDP. As Trinidad and Tobago continues to be a global player in the energy industry, there is a critical thrust to maintain its competitive edge in the international market in order to attract and retain capital investment.

Organisation of the Energy Sector in Trinidad and Tobago


The Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries (MEEI) is responsible for the overall management of the energy and mineral sectors in Trinidad and Tobago.

The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (GORTT) plans to diversify the economy by sustaining and maintaining high levels of growth and competitiveness through downstream energy sector development which will provide support for growth of the local manufacturing sector. GORTT’s long range approach to natural gas utilisation and development is underpinned by sustainable development.

 


 

 

 

 

Major Players in the Trinidad and Tobago Energy Sector


Trinidad and Tobago is well-known for its stable business landscape as evidenced by the continued investment of international companies such as BP, Shell, BHP Billiton and EOG Resources. The country continues to attract the interest of new international players in the offshore bid rounds. In the last two years, BP and BHP Billiton signed seven (7) deep water production sharing contracts valued at US$1.9 billion aimed at finding new oil provinces in our deep-water area, aptly coined the “New Horizon.”

 


Extractive Industry Transparency Index (EITI) Country Status


It should be noted that the country attained Extractive Industry Transparency Index (EITI) Country Status on March 1st 2013 and the first report was published in September 2013. This represents the first independent reconciliation of Trinidad and Tobago’s oil and gas revenues, a significant policy and paradigm shift as it relates to transparency, accountability and good governance on the part of the State.

 


Financial Stability in Trinidad and Tobago


Trinidad and Tobago is a stable English speaking democracy with a strong energy sector, and is recognised as the region’s capital for financial services. It is strategically located as a prime commercial gateway between North and South America. Trinidad and Tobago is business friendly, agile and welcomes foreign investment.

Trinidad and Tobago possesses a favourable tax system and a robust regulatory framework that can be beneficial to investors. Additionally, investors are able to access fiscal incentives once all requirements are met; benefit from low utility costs and gain entrance to the Americas marketplace. Enablers include strong credit ratings that compare favourably across the region.

In April 2015, Moody’s bestowed upon Trinidad and Tobago an investment grade of Baa2 based on a strong government balance sheet, moderate and affordable debt burden and strong external position. In December 2014, Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services (S&P) affirmed its ‘A/A-1’ long and short term (investment grade) sovereign credit ratings given to the country. Giving its rationale, S&P said: “T&T’s net external asset position, low external vulnerability and stable political system support the ratings.” Our financial system which accounts for 12 per cent of GDP, is well-organised, soundly regulated and plays a pivotal role in the economy.” The Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago operates independently of Government in determining monetary policy and setting discount rates and reserve requirements. It regulates operations of the commercial banks and other financial institutions.

Trinidad and Tobago Tax System


The principal taxes in Trinidad and Tobago are income tax, corporation tax, business levy, various petroleum taxes, value added tax (VAT), withholding tax and customs and excise duties. There are no restrictions on repatriation of capital, profits, dividends, interest, distributions or gains on Investment.

Corporate Tax Rates


Companies stand to benefit from a stable tax rate. Corporation tax is charged at a rate of 25 percent on chargeable profits and short term capital gains for companies in the downstream energy-based manufacturing sub-sector and other types of manufacturing concerns. A rate of 35 percent is applied for companies engaged in liquefaction of natural gas, manufacture of petrochemicals, transmission and distribution of natural gas and wholesale marketing and distribution of petroleum products. It is important to also note that petroleum companies involved in production and refining operations in Trinidad and Tobago operate under a separate tax regime.

Business Levy


Business levy at the rate of 0.6 percent is charged yearly on the gross income of a company. Companies are entitled to a tax credit against their business levy liability for a year of income of any payment made in respect of its corporation tax liability for that year up to a maximum of their business levy liability.

Green Fund Levy


Green Fund Levy is charged at the rate of 0.3 percent of the company’s gross income, that is, all income received in the ordinary course of business before allowing any deductions for business expenses.

Tax Treatment of Losses


For corporation tax purposes, a company's ordinary trading losses may be carried forward and set off against the first available future profits (excluding short-term capital gains), without time limit. Losses may not be carried back.

Fiscal Incentives available to Investors


The Government’s economic policy is geared towards the development of a robust and open, market-driven economy. The Government has made a commitment to actively encourage foreign investment in Trinidad and Tobago. As such, legislation removing restrictions on foreign investment and providing various incentives to investors has been enacted.

Various forms of tax relief and other incentives may be applied for and obtained under the Trinidad and Tobago Free Zones Act, Chap. 81:07 and the Fiscal Incentives Act, Chap. 85:01. Both statutes require that certain prerequisites be satisfied before a company can become eligible for the tax relief benefits offered.

The Incentive Regime is comprised of:
  1. Fiscal Exemptions
  2. Import Duty Concessions
  3. Research and Development Facility
  4. Free Zones

Cost Benefits and Incentives Free Trade Zone


The country has comparable incentives to other regional locations. Investors can benefit from being located in a free zone where they are exempted from customs duties, value added tax and income tax on dividends for an indefinite period. There is 100 percent ownership of locally registered companies; no foreign exchange controls, and companies can enjoy full repatriation of funds. Incentives for staff training will also be considered based on the specific needs of the operator.

Market Access


Trinidad and Tobago provides access to an extended market of over 700 million people through bilateral trade agreements with Venezuela, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, France, USA, Canada, Cuba and Europe. The country also participates in a trade programme known collectively as the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI), which is a vital element of the United States' economic relations with its neighbours in Central America and the Caribbean.

Cost Effectiveness


Trinidad and Tobago has been ranked 1st for cost effectiveness in Central America and the Caribbean. Electricity rates within Trinidad and Tobago start as low as US$0.03/KWh offering Investors access to some of the lowest electricity tariffs in the Western Hemisphere, and significantly lower than average rates.

Low Operational Costs


Based on a cost comparison by FDI Benchmarks (a service of Financial Times Limited 2015) Trinidad and Tobago is the second cheapest location for business within the Caribbean and Latin American regions when the costs of electricity, water, telecoms and natural gas are compared.

Fiscal Incentives


Under the Fiscal Incentives Act Chapter, 85:01, large scale manufacturing including petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals or processing companies established in Trinidad and Tobago can receive an exemption from paying customs duties, value added tax on the costs related to the production of approved products and or services

Import Duty Concessions


Manufacturing enterprises are allowed duty free treatment on their raw materials, machinery and equipment, and in some cases packaging material based upon the provisions of the country’s Customs Act.

Profit Remittance and Capital Repatriation


There are no restrictions on repatriation of capital, profits, dividends, interest, distributions or gains on investment. Repatriation may be effected through the commercial banking sector. There remains the liability to pay withholding tax, where applicable.

Allowances for Capital Costs


All companies carrying on a trade, business, or profession are entitled to annual wear and tear allowances on their machinery and equipment, calculated according to the declining-balance method. In the first year, the initial and annual allowances are calculated on cost. Thereafter, annual allowances are calculated on the balance of cost after deducting the allowances previously granted. Accelerated tax depreciation is allowed to manufacturers in the form of an initial allowance at the rate of 90 percent on capital expenditure on plant and machinery. For those companies engaged in the production of petrochemicals, or enjoying concessions under the Fiscal Incentives Act, the rate is 20 percent in the following categories:
  1. Buildings and Improvements
  2. Plant and machinery, motor vehicles, furniture
  3. Heavy equipment, trucks, computer equipment
  4. Aircraft and Extra Heavy Equipment

Foreign Ownership


The Foreign Investment Act provides for the acquisition by foreign investors of an interest in land or shares in local private or public companies and for the formation of companies by foreign investors. In summary, the Foreign Investment Act, 1990 makes the following provisions.
Provisions of the Foreign Investment Act, 1990
  • A foreign investor is permitted to own 100 percent of the share capital in a private company, but prior to the investment the Minister of Finance must be notified.
  • Foreign investors are permitted to own up to 30 percent in total of the share capital of a local public company without a licence.
  • A licence is required to permit foreign investors to own more than 30 percent in total of the share capital of a public company.
  • A foreign investor may acquire interest in land for business purposes up to five acres without having to acquire a licence. For any further acreage in excess of the five acre limit, a license must be acquired from the Minister of Finance prior to acquiring such acreage. By locating operations in Trinidad and Tobago, investors will be able to access a suite of fiscal incentives. Additionally, they can have confidence in knowing that Trinidad and Tobago possesses a strong financial system, comparatively low operating costs, market access to the 700 million plus people that make up North and South America region and that investments are welcomed and respected..
  • Opportunities for Investment in Trinidad and Tobago



    National Energy which has been at the centre of the evolution of the downstream energy sector is continuously exploring ideas and concepts along the lines of the focus industries for developing into projects that add value to both investors and the country. National Energy welcomes and works with investors to bring projects to fruition.

    Key industries and Project opportunities for investment are provided below:


    Renewable Energy - Solar Energy Park Project


    Trinidad and Tobago is well-known for exploiting its hydrocarbon resources for the benefit of all citizens. However, we are blessed with other energy sources year round which we are yet to tap into in comprehensive manner. The Government of Trinidad and Tobago policy is to maximize where possible the use of renewable energy and to reduce the country’s carbon footprint.

    It is in this context that National Energy is leading the development of an integrated Solar Energy Park comprising of all the necessary facilities to manufacture Photovoltaic (PV) modules from silicon.

    We have already identified sites with ready access to ports for locating the complex and a feasibility study has been completed.

    Investors in this project will benefit from:
    1. competitive and reliable utility supplies
    2. Sites prepared for heavy industrial activity
    3. Established logistic services including port and marine infrastructure
    4. raw material from neighbouring Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries
    5. skilled and highly-trained labour force
    6. investment incentives under the Fiscal Incentives Act
    7. access to the local market and through trade agreements access to the regional and extra-regional markets.

    We welcome investment in this new and transformative industry to our shores.

     


    Energy-based Manufacturing - Integrated Melamine and Downstream Project


    An integrated melamine-based cluster will involve the use of locally available methanol and melamine to produce further downstream intermediate products such as formaldehyde, paraformaldehyde, and melamine formaldehyde resin. These in turn will be used to convert base lumber, sourced both locally as well as from neighbouring Caricom countries, to produce commodities such as Oriented Strand Board (OSB) and Veneer Board. The waste nitrogen from the resin reaction can be used to produce fertilizers.

    Investors can take advantage of:
    1. Competitive and reliable utility supplies
    2. Sites prepared for heavy industrial activity
    3. Established logistic services including port and marine infrastructure
    4. Local source of raw material
    5. A strong energy services industry
    6. Investment incentives under the Fiscal Incentives Act
    7. Skilled and highly-trained labour force
    8. Access to the local, Caribbean and Americas construction industries

    We welcome investors interested in working with us to develop this pioneering project which will provide the impetus for creating the linkage between our energy sector and other industries both locally and regionally and provide an investor with access to emerging markets in the region.

    Petrochemicals


    Methanol and Downstream


    In 2014, Trinidad exported approximately 5.6 million metric tonnes of methanol. National Energy is desirous of developing the downstream opportunities from methanol such as:
    1. Plastic resins
    2. Acetic Acid
    3. Formaldehyde
    4. Propylene Oxide

    Other areas for potential investment include acrylates, acrylic acid and Oxo alcohols. In addition to the above, National Energy welcomes any other proposals for consideration.

    Ammonia and Downstream


    In 2014, Trinidad exported approximately 4.5 million metric tonnes of ammonia. National Energy is seeking investment for an ammonia and downstream complex utilizing natural gas to produce ammonia and its derivatives such as urea, urea ammonium nitrate (UAN), Melamine and Diammonium Phosphate (DAP).

    Going beyond methanol and ammonia is a desire of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and therefore proposals for projects that will enable this will be encouraged and such investment would enjoy benefits afforded under the Fiscal Incentives Act and the amenities present in the country.

    Inorganic Chemicals


    Trinidad and Tobago is desirous of developing an inorganic chemical industry in an effort to further diversify the downstream energy sector. As such, National Energy is seeking to attract and work with interested companies wanting to develop an inorganic chemical producing facility in the island. National Energy has explored an integrated caustic soda complex, but this is not limited to investments in only caustic soda production. Investors are welcome to establish other types of inorganic facilities in the country.

    Strategic Advantage for Inorganic Chemical Projects in Trinidad and Tobago include:


    1. competitive and reliable utility supplies
    2. sites prepared for heavy industrial activity
    3. established logistic services including port and marine infrastructure
    4. raw material sources from neighbouring Caricom countries
    5. a strong energy services industry
    6. skilled and highly-trained labour force
    7. investment incentives under the Fiscal Incentives Act
    8. access to the local market and through trade agreements access to the regional and extra-regional markets.
    We welcome investment in this industry that would afford an investor potential for the production of a wide range of consumer and industrial products.

     

     

     

    STEPS IN INVESTING IN THE DOWNSTREAM ENERGY SECTOR


    1. Proposals for investment projects are to be submitted to National Energy.
    2. National Energy will evaluate proposals with respect to technology, market dynamics, capital expenditure, economics and investing company profile and overall benefit to the country.
    3. Approval from National Energy’s executive will trigger the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the conduct of a pre-feasibility or in-depth feasibility study for the project depending on whether a pre-feasibility study is presented as part of a proposal.
    4. A project that is economically and structurally sound arising out of the pre-feasibility study and is a strategic fit for Trinidad and Tobago will be presented to the Board of Directors and The Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries (MEEI), if applicable, for sanction for a full feasibility study.
    5. A favourable outcome of the feasibility study would encourage approval from the Cabinet of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and the execution of a Project Development Agreement (PDA) between the investor and Government nominated party/parties. The PDA is short term, usually for a period of 18 to 24 months to govern the activities necessary for final decisions.
    6. Allocation of site and execution of Site Access/Licence Agreement with National Energy.
    7. The execution of a PDA initiates the implementation stage of the project. This stage entails, inter alia the execution of the Essential Contracts necessary for Final Investment Decision, Financial Close and Start of Construction. The role of National Energy during this stage involves:
      • Formation of Project Coordination Team comprising of representatives of the investing company and National Energy to oversee the development of this stage of the project.
      • Formal introduction of the project to pertinent stakeholders and the facilitation of negotiations for applicable essential contracts.
      • Negotiations and execution of land lease and pier user agreements
      • Assistance in the acquisition of regulatory approvals.
      • Provision of data/information for detailed engineering works, due diligence studies and execution of contracts.
      • Final land preparation (if necessary).
      • investment incentives under the Fiscal Incentives Act
      • Facilitation of negotiations and execution of a long term Project Agreement between investor and Government designated party/parties which will signal Government’s final approval for start of construction.

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