Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said yesterday that T&T will explore a bunkering industry, based on the use of methanol as a marine fuel.
He made this comment at the launch of Proman’s methanol-fuelled tanker, Stena Pro Patria, at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain last night.
He said that T&T would seek to take advantage of its geographical location, of being close to the Panama Canal by offering fuel services for ships.
In addition, he said Proman’s ability to provide methanol fuel would be viewed as part of T&T’s climate change response.
He said Proman’s position dovetailed with the Government’s own position on these two issues.
“We are one of the largest producers and exporters of methanol in the world,” Dr Rowley said.
“What we are aiming to do is to make T&T a major refuelling hub for ocean-going vessels,” he said.
Proman’s chief executive David Cassidy observed that Proman has been pushing methanol as a fuel of the future.
“Methanol will play a leading role in the energy transition. It is the only alternative marine fuel currently available which immediately cuts greenhouse gas emissions and removes other unpleasant pollutions. In addition to these immediate benefits, we can also see a clear, commercially viable pathway to net zero.
“And as Trinidad and Tobago, the major producer and exporter of methanol, this means that there’s a huge opportunity for all of us here to do that. It’s an economic opportunity for sure. It’s also a skills opportunity,” he said.
Cassidy noted that T&T is known around the world for the calibre of its operational management expertise in the petrochemical sector and “together we can help others with the next generation of low carbon and renewable methanol plants.”
“There’s also opportunity in the marine sector of the future, such as our first group of cadets, right here at the University of Trinidad and Tobago, and now travelling the world on board this vessel, the Stena Pro Patria, broke through as well as on board our growing feet of methanol powered ships,” Cassidy said.
The ship was christened last night.
The ship’s godmother is Cassandra Patrick, whose late husband Dennis Patrick, the vessel is named after, Patrick was the former CEO of Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Limited (MHTL).
The company noted that traditionally ship-naming ceremonies are held at the shipyard, once the construction and sea trials are completed and the vessel is ready to sail. However, they held the ceremony in Trinidad in recognition of Patrick.
Stena Pro Patria is a state-of-the-art methanol-fuelled tanker, the first of an initial fleet of six methanol-fuelled ships owned by Proman and Sweden’s tanker operating company, Stena Bulk.