Sunday, December 10, 2006

Transparency in gas pricing

Dear Editor,
Dr Pratt, an expert at the Governments aluminium "symposium",
emphasised the pre requisite importance of the worlds cheapest gas for the success of the aluminium industry.
Dr Pratt is a technical advisor to Governments and Companies engaged in the aluminium industry.
Mr Charles Thavnot, an executive of British Gas here in Trinidad,
has last week written in the business section of the Guardian, warning that there will be burdensome financial penalties if Trinidad cannot meet its supply obligations to ALNG for the life of that project, that Trinidad has not had any new discovery of gas which would provide a justification for rushing into several (high gas consumption) aluminium enterprises, and that the Government ought to first find new gas before engaging in new gas intensive obligations.
Mr Thavnot's warning suggests that unless we find new gas, we will either pay burdensome penalties, or will need to buy gas from elsewhere (at higher prices) in order to meet supply obligations for the life of the ALNG project.

Why have the ALNG contracts and agreements been kept secret from public, and technical expertise?
The gas belongs to the people.
The old secret closed door deals must be stopped if we are to stamp out the slippery reputation that Governments have earned.
What exactly are the penalties that taxpayers will be forced to bear if we "give" the gas originally intended for ALNG to other new projects?
Industry sources have informed FFOS that these penalties will be 7 Million USD per day for failure to supply Train IV alone!
We direct the following three questions to Minister Lenny Saith,,
What are the exact Royalty, Netback, Well Head and all other named revenues and taxes from gas supplied to and processed at ALNG Trains I, II III and IV?
How do these revenues compare to other underdeveloped countries with gas processing agreements similar to ours, such as East Timor and Malaysia?
What is the price which the peoples gas is to be sold to Alcoa and Alutrint? Why is this being kept secret by Mr Manning and Saith? Is something being hid?
How does this price compare in actual value to other supply
agreements to other energy consumers such as the seven existing methanol facilities, the ten existing ammonia plants, Essar, Ansa McAl, Methanol Holdings, ethylene, polypropylene etc?
Every right thinking citizen is asking for complete, and not
selective, transparency in natural gas pricing so that we are all
better informed.
Why is Mr Saith, and his Prime Minister Patrick Manning avoiding the essence of the peoples concerns? Is honesty still the best policy?

Gary Aboud

Fishermen and Friends of the Sea


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