Retrenchments not ‘par for the course’


Kishan Kumarsingh. File Photo

PANELISTS at the launch of the National Gas Company TT (NGC) agreed that energy companies in TT are gradually shifting toward a green economy, depending on cleaner and more sustainable forms of energy for the nation.

But Kishan Kumarsingh head of the Multilateral Agreements Unit at the Ministry of Planning said while answering questions at the launch of NGC’s Sustainable Development Goals Report, the retrenchments being seen as a result of companies’ shift to cleaner energy should not be par for the course.

“This (shift) was not happenstance. This was anticipated years ago when the climate issue came up,” Kumarsingh said. “Retrenchment should not be par for the course. As we transition to green business we have to ensure that opportunities are there.”

On Wednesday, BPTT announced its retrenchment of 149 employees, part of the company’s worldwide “reinvention” which saw the reduction of its staff by 25 per cent.

NGC President Mark Loquan said there was a subtle shift in the demand for oil and gas, long before covid19 hit. He added that as companies move toward clean energy the demand for new skills will shift as well.

“Before covid19 we were already seeing geopolitics playing a part – the Saudi and Russia issue had effects on oil prices and you were seeing low cycles, then petrochemical prices were low. Then covid19 changed everything and the demand just went away.

“When you go through these cycles with these commodities, this is what happens. (The cycle) is happening right now but it won’t be done overnight. The cycles you see will be linked to the economies but you will see a strengthening in green energy and there will also be new skills that come along with it. We have to look into that going into the future.”

NGC launched their sustainability goals report on Wednesday, which listed their efforts to achieve the 17 sustainable development goals put together by the United Nations and what is needed for NGC to assist TT to achieve the goals by 2030.

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