In Couva, west-central Trinidad, the first recipient of the NGC CNG’s Maxi Taxi Investment grant received approval last week. The NGC CNG Company Limited and the Association of Maxi Taxi of Trinidad & Tobago (AMTTT) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in May last year to facilitate a grant for the purchase of Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) CNG maxi taxis.
Sarika Henry of Tacarigua, applied for an investment grant under NGC CNG’s MOU. Henry is trading in a 25-seater HAY, red-band maxi taxi and will receive $75,000 (USD 11,270) from NGC CNG as an investment towards purchasing a new CNG Maxi. Her new vehicle will arrive in Trinidad later this year.
NGC CNG’s Maxi Taxi Investment grant targets a maximum trade in of 1,000 small maxis and 200 large maxis for CNG vehicles. The grant facility expires on May 14th, 2018.
At a simple signing ceremony on Thursday May 5th at NGC CNG’s office in Couva, Henry expressed her gratitude for the grant. The switch to more affordable CNG will reduce her operating costs by close to 50%. The current CNG price is $1.00/litre gallon equivalent and compares favourably with the current diesel price of $1.98/litre. Diesel prices have increased significantly as government relaxed the fuel subsidy.
NGC CNG President Curtis Mohammed was elated saying, “This is a milestone – a significant milestone in the history of CNG conversion in Trinidad and Tobago and we have now captured the very first Maxi Taxi owner and certainly we are pleased. This is fantastic news.”
He also noted that NGC CNG was pleased to have received several applications for the grant which are in various stages of approval. The President explained “…the Maxi Taxi group was a very pivotal group; as significant Diesel users… they are square in the middle of public transportation together with PTSC.”
Also on hand to witness the signing of the grant were officials of AMTTT, including President Eon Hewitt. Hewitt was equally pleased, “I must say it was a lot of hard work on behalf of NGC accommodating us, it’s more than a milestone.”
Currently four suppliers including AMTTT, offer CNG options ranging from 15-seaters, 18- seaters (new to Trinidad and Tobago), 21-seaters and 25-seaters. Last month, the Trinidad and Tobago Association for the Hearing Impaired purchase a 21 seater Omnibus from ANSA Automotive to assist in the transportation requirements of its members.
NGC CNG recognizes the significance of this first approved grant, and the Company expects that this would pave the way to its goal of offering this incentive to the planned 1200 Maxi Taxi owners over a three-year period.
In addition to its obvious cost advantage, the use of CNG as a fuel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 30% and it is an integral part of plans to lower the Carbon footprint in cities and countries around the world. NGC CNG, was incorporated in 2013 to accelerate the supply of CNG as a fuel at 22 new service stations for the public and also increase the demand.
NGC CNG has already announced plans to open 10 new supply points in 2016 as well as the upgrade of 4 existing stations. The first of the 10 new supply points, St Christopher’s service station on Wrightson Road in Port of Spain is carded to open later this month.
(Source: NGC CNG)