Major CNG Implementation Closer for Trinidad & Tobago

| Trinidad & Tobago

NGC CNG Company Limited, a subsidiary of The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (NGC) has executed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Petroleum Marketing Company Ltd (NP) and with the United Independent Petroleum Marketing Company Ltd (UNIPET). This development now allows for agreement and prioritization on supply arrangements that will allow the finalization of target sites for the location of upgraded Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) service, retrofitting and new CNG and mobile CNG locations for Phase I of the country’s CNG Initiative.

NGC CNG, NP and UNIPET agree on and understand the importance of their respective roles in the local CNG supply value chain, and together with timely support from the various regulatory and state bodies, successful expansion of CNG usage in the country will be realized.

NGC has been mandated by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to accelerate and expand the use of CNG as a major alternative transportation fuel in the country. NGC plans to invest more than TTD 2 billion (USD 310+ million) over five years. The first phase, lasting two years, projected to cost TTD 500 million (USD 77 million) and previously approved by Cabinet, will involve the outfitting of approximately 22 new or revamped CNG fuel stations and the conversion of over 17,000 vehicles. The second phase, lasting approximately a further three years, is projected to cost TTD 1.57 billion (USD 243 million) and will continue the drive to construct more stations and conversions.

NGC CNG was incorporated to execute the mandate on behalf of its parent company, NGC. The MOUs between NGC CNG/NP and NGC CNG/UNIPET represent significant milestones in the effort and outline the terms and conditions for the respective companies with regard to the provision of CNG equipment installations, operations and dispensation.

According to NGC CNG President Curtis Mohammed, the criteria for the selection and prioritization of CNG equipped stations would include:

  • the proximity to existing natural gas distribution pipelines
  • projected vehicular throughput at the stations
  • strategic location of the site vis-a-vis the CNG target markets, and
  • the status of statutory approvals for new or refurbished sites.

“Our business model encompasses the management of the natural gas-related transportation fuel supply in Trinidad and Tobago; funding the conversion to CNG of PTSC buses and maxi taxi vehicles; and funding the upgrading and/or installation of new CNG supply fuel stations whether they be CNG only or multifuel facilities. At all revamped or new CNG sites, NGC CNG will be responsible for the management of its assets so as to ensure the general public of a consistent service and a favorable refueling experience at the dispenser.”

Currently, there are about 3,000 CNG equipped vehicles on the nation’s roads and 11 fueling stations. The current price for CNG is TTD 1.07 (USD 17 cents) compared with premium gasoline at 5.75 (89 cents), super gasoline at $2.70 (42 cents) and diesel at $1.50 (23 cents).

The drive to bring CNG to reality as a viable alternative fuel is essential for Trinidad and Tobago to address it’s massive fuel subsidy cost, currently greater than TTD 4 billion (USD 620 m) per annum, while boosting foreign income and decreasing carbon emissions. Once implemented, CNG usage is expected to reduce the national fuel subsidy by more than 40%.

(Source: NGC CNG Company Limited)

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