Natural Gas Talks Ongoing

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Chairman of the National Petroleum Corporation, Sir Harcourt Lewis (right) presents Supervisor of the Year Whitstanley Smith with his award during the 30th anniversary ceremony and Christmas luncheon held last Friday at the Crane Hotel. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Negotiations are presently under way between Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago to import natural gas into this country.

This was announced by Chairman of the National Petroleum Corporation (NPC), Sir Harcourt Lewis, at the 30th anniversary luncheon and awards ceremony of the Corporation which was held last Friday at the Crane Resort.

He said the gas would be pumped through a pipeline on the seabed and was designed to meet the future needs for this commodity in Barbados. He mentioned that this step was part of the medium-term development strategy of Barbados, and would play a vital part in the further development of this country.

He added: "It is projected that the volume of natural gas which we hope to be here by 2014, will influence the price of energy downwards whether it is a direct purchase from NPC or a feedstock to electrical generation through the Barbados Light and Power Company Limited."

Sir Harcourt added that the NPC currently purchases in excess of 1.2 million cubic feet of natural gas from the Barbados National Oil Company Limited (BNOC) to supply the needs of its customers.

He indicated that on average, the usage by domestic customers for this product had decreased over the years from 23 m3 per month in 1978 to 11.1 m3 per month in 2011. However, he pointed out that for the same period commercial consumption had increased from 364 m3 to 921 m3 this year.

"Recently, the Division of Energy in the Office of the Prime Minister has launched several initiatives that promote the use of renewable energy. Natural gas is not a renewable fuel but it is considered to be a greening fuel. Natural gas (52kg/mmBTU) produces fewer emissions than No.2 (73kg/mmBTU) and No.6 (78.8 kg/mmBTU) diesel respectively and actually has a very significant role in the Clean Development Mechanisms in many countries," he underlined.

Looking to the future, Sir Harcourt said great things were on the horizon for the NPC, and he expected to see fleets of buses powered by natural gas and more hotels using it to power their air conditioning units. Furthermore, he promised to continue to work with the Energy Division and the BNOC to reduce energy costs, ensure energy security and reduce green house gas emissions.

Several long-service awards were presented to members of staff for meritorious service during the ceremony. They included Whitstanley Smith who copped both the Supervisor of the Year and the 40-year award; joint Employees of the Year, Winston Ifill and Everton Hoyte; while the Chairman’s Award went to Roger Holder.

cathy.lashley@barbados.gov.bb

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