Express Business Filler #1

The National Gas Company (NGC) and Proman Trinidad have announced the resumption of an interim gas supply arrangement to facilitate the restart of Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Ltd’s M4 and M5000 methanol plants at Point Lisas.

MHTL is part of the Proman group of companies and owns five methanol plants and an AUM (ammonia, urea ammonium nitrate, melamine) complex comprising seven individual plants.

In April, Switzerland-headquartered Proman—Trinidad and Tobago’s largest producer of methanol—confirmed in a message to staff that it was idling M4 and M5000, citing its inability “to secure an economically viable short-term gas supply contract for the month of April”.

In a statement yesterday, the NGC said the interim agreement was put in place while the commercial terms of a long-term gas supply contract are being finalised between NGC and Proman.

NGC president Mark Loquan stated: “The negotiating teams have had very constructive discussions to forge a path forward for the short-term, while also remaining focused for longer term collaboration, which will ultimately bring value to all stakeholders. I would like to thank both teams for their open and purposeful discussions which led to this agreement.”

Managing director of Proman Trinidad Claus Cronberger said in the statement: “We are pleased to have reached an interim agreement with NGC to supply gas to M4 and M5000. Restarting the plants will bring immediate benefits to the gas value chain and the national economy. We remain focused on working with NGC to achieve a mutually agreed, sustainable long-term gas supply contract in the shortest possible timeframe.”

Minister of Energy Stuart Young said yesterday he was pleased that the M4 and M5000 plants have restarted.

A statement from the ministry said Young had been communicating with the NGC and Proman throughout recent weeks and welcomed the fact that parties reached an agreement that led to the restart of M4 and M5000.

“The parties will continue to negotiate for a long-term gas supply agreement and the (ministry) will continue to monitor this and communicate with the parties,” the statement said. “These agreements and arrangements are part of the landscape of a sophisticated gas sector that is adapting to the many changes in the global energy sector and the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries will continue to play an active role in ensuring the future of Trinidad and Tobago and protecting the interests of the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.”

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