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Guayaguyare gets US$5m energy port

By CECILY ASSON Sunday, September 7 2014

THE National Energy Corporation officially opened Phase 1 of Port Galeota, a port facility at Galeota Point, Guayaguyare on Friday afternoon.

Phase 1 of the spanking new US$5 million port facility is designed to become an energy hub, not only for Trinidad and Tobago, but Venezuela, Guyana and other energy consuming countries in the southern basin.

On Friday afternoon before a packed audience which included Members of Parliament Winston “Gypsy” Peters, Nizam Baksh and energy officials, Minister of Energy Kevin Ramnarine delivered the feature address on behalf of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar who he explained could not be present due to other pressing matters. About the port facility, he said, “Port of Galeota has the potential for expansion of trade between Trinidad and Tobago and South America and the wider Caribbean, which can facilitate the development of the energy services sector.”

Residents of Mayaro and environs, Ramnarine said, will benefit as the port is expected to create 140 new jobs, and, the minister added, the second phase will also see more persons employed. Citing New York and Singapore as examples, Ramnarine said that ports have at most times been precursors, to cities — growing out of ports. It is the hope of the minister that one day Point Galeota would become a city.

Ramnarine said Port Galeota is the first port to be built since the construction of the La Brea Industrial Development Company ( LABIDCO) in 1997. Port Galeota is designed to support the needs of local port operators who can expect faster access to off shore facilities and key energy services — such as rig supply operations, modular stacking of deck cargo, a marshalling area and storage yard, delivery of material by the sea to and from Galeota, fuel bunkering and potable water storage.

Ramnarine said that boat repairs will also take place. The energy port facility comprises five berths, eight hectares of ‘back-land’ and just over seven metres of dredge depth facility. The port is accessible by 1.2 kilometers of a new access road. Ramnarine said that the port was important to national security and the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard (TTCG). The minister said, “We have five berths on this port. One of those five berths is reserved for the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard, that will allow the Coast Guard to have better access to the east coast and will aid in stemming the illegal trade in drugs and other illegal activities that could be going on.”

Ramnarine also said the port could also aid in search-and-rescue, as well as provide security to companies operating out there.

Chairman of the National Energy Corporation, Roopchan Chadeesingh, said that BP TT, BHP Billiton, Trinity Exploration and Production and Repsol, as well as the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard, are already utilising the new port facilities.

National Energy parent company National Gas Company will also utilise the port.

National Energy President Dr Vernon Paltoo said that the agency responsible for new energy related and down stream development, National Energy has broadened its scope.

“We have grown from strength to strength, expanding and developing into a company well positioned to push the expansion of the energy sector,” Paltoo said.

Phase 2 of Port Galeota is expected to begin in 2015 and will have seven berths to be constructed at a cost of US$110 million. Preliminary engineering and design work are already in progress, Paltoo revealed.

Peters welcomed the facility into his constituency saying that it signaled the transformation of the district of Mayaro, Guayaguayare and environs.

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