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Gas pipeline in 3 years

Gercine Carter

Gas pipeline in 3 years

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The proposed natural gas pipeline between Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago could be a reality in three years.
Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, with responsibility for energy, Senator Darcy Boyce, said yesterday Government expected to complete negotiations with the twin-island state next year.
He said the proposal was being worked on by a consortium comprising Government, the Barbados National Oil Company, the National Petroleum Corporation and the Barbados Light & Power Company (BL&P) which would be the “primary off-takers” of the gas.
Several private consultants are also involved.
Boyce told delegates attending the Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum (CREF) at Hilton Barbados yesterday: “We have got some drafts ready for discussions with Trinidadians, so it will take us a few months more before we get to the stage of a signing, but once that is done we should get the gas here two or three years from now.”
He said Government had “moved slowly on the project because it is a big investment in the order of $500 million and we are not paying for it in Barbados in terms of capital costs”.
“There is a consortium that will raise the funding, but what we will be paying will be a transport charge for the cubic metres of the gas along the pipeline.”
However, Boyce said the time had come when Government had to “hasten carefully on the matter” because it was a massive project and there were issues such as environmental impact assessments and risk management that had to be considered.
In addition, he said, thought had to be given to how the BL&P would maintain its backup in the event of an accident.
Boyce said Barbados had already held discussions with natural gas suppliers in Trinidad and “they seem very confident that they have got the quantities of gas that we require”.