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ENERGY Caribbean newsletter (April 2014 • Issue no. 72)

The final edition of the ENERGY Caribbean newsletter

PPGPL Unlucky in Africa,

PPGPL Unlucky in Africa, gas liquids company turns to Americas And seeks closer alignment with 90% owner NGC The Point Lisas-based gas liquids extractor and marketer Phoenix Park Gas Processors Ltd. (PPGPL) has not been as successful as it hoped in its international outreach, part of the mandate given to it by the Trinidad and Tobago government. PPGPL is virtually a state company now, being 90% owned by the National Gas Company (NGC), which is itself state-owned. “We have got to get aligned with NGC’s own strategies,” company president Eugene Tiah explained in an exclusive interview with ENERGY Caribbean. “We need to get clear on what the overall strategy is for what is now the NGC Group.” NGC has always owned 51% of PPGPL, and extended its holding by buying the 39% share previously held by the US’s ConocoPhillips. Even before that purchase, the two companies collaborated closely on international initiatives, jointly considering gasbased projects in Ghana, Tanzania and Equatorial Guinea, though none have so far come to fruition. The magazine of the Caribbean energy industry APRIL 2014 Issue No. 72 Subscriptions Department 6 Prospect Avenue, Maraval, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago Tel: (868) 622 3821, Fax: (868) 628 0639, e-mail: Writer David Renwick Editor Jeremy Taylor Layout Bridget van Dongen © 2014 Media & Editorial Projects Ltd. All rights reserved Africa A potential investment in gas gathering and processing facilities in Ghana, once viewed with great enthusiasm, was lost to China in 2010. The Ghana National Gas Company then issued a request for expressions of interest in operating and maintaining the plant, to which PPGPL responded. But Tiah says: “They then told us they had scrapped all of that.” PPGPL and NGC also examined a gas processing project in Nigeria, but “based on a rigorous review of risks and returns and other factors, both companies decided that the project should no longer be pursued.” In Tanzania, “we were looking at the feasibility of micro-LNG for power generation for mining facilities, and were getting aligned with an Australian company that wanted to do that.” But PPGPL soon realised that “it would have been an unbalanced sort of relationship: we wanted to bring to the table our expertise and knowledge, but they seemingly preferred just money, with limited involvement.” Advertising Yuri Chin Choy, ENERGY Caribbean Sales Department 6 Prospect Avenue, Maraval, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago Tel: (868) 683 0832, e-mail: ENERGY Caribbean is published six times a year, on February 1, April 1, June 1, August 1, October 1 and December 1. Subscriptions: Trinidad and Tobago TT$750 per year (six issues), Caribbean US$125, Rest of the World US$150. For multiple copies please contact the Subscriptions Department. Nothing much has happened in Equatorial Guinea either. “An initial assessment visit was made to that country, which has a developing gas sector, to evaluate potential gas processing and related opportunities, and subsequently a country risk assessment was completed to guide pursuit of any future opportunities.” The Americas For a company operating against a background of “fewer growth opportunities locally and leaner gas supplies coming into the Point Lisas plant”, four unsuccessful attempts to spread itself abroad must be demoralising. Apparently undaunted, Tiah has switched PPGPL’s attention to the western hemisphere, targeting Colombia and Nova Scotia, Canada. In Colombia, the company is again looking at gas gathering and processing. “Colombia has both associated gas and some pure gas production – small pockets and small projects – but it is looking to gather and harness as much of the resource as they can for power generation. State company Ecopetrol and some associated companies have been asking for EOI for project development.” PPGPL complied but “the challenge with these things is that they issue a request today and they want a proposal next week.” The situation requires PPGPL to “have a presence in such countries”, and teams have been to Colombia, spending “a couple of weeks developing a network and relationships”, and to Nova Scotia, engaging with “some entrepreneurial types whose business idea is that there are big arbitrage opportunities for gas liquids from shale gas between North America and Europe and Asia, using terminalling assets presently under-utilised.” Tiah thinks this is an “interesting model because of the terminalling business and the marketing of natural gas liquids, both of which we are interested in, as well as the future potential for fractionation.” At home, one growth opportunity is a processing plant at Union industrial estate, La Brea, to capture the 300 million cubic feet a day (mmcfd) of gas that will be flowing through that estate before long. PPGPL invited expressions of interest for the provision of “standard design solutions”, and has been reviewing the responses. Energy Caribbean April 2014 3

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