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National Energy Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago: Committed to a Sustainable Future

For many years, Trinidad and Tobago has been known as a vital player in the energy sector on both a national and international scale. This reputation has brought a wealth of economic development to the region, which is set to continue as the region has made big strides towards carbon reduction in line with the global shift towards more sustainable energy resources. A key player in the region’s energy industry and the global shift towards green energy is the National Energy Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (National Energy), which is committed to developing the sustainability of the energy sector through the advancement of gas and energy-based industries. To make these commitments possible, National Energy works to implement the necessary infrastructure to support this mission.

National Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of the government-owned National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (NGC), has spent the last 45 years developing the region’s energy sector. The company’s mission is to harness the potential of the region to produce a reliable and environmentally sustainable supply of energy for the benefit of its citizens. National Energy has made big strides towards the use of green renewable resources across the energy sector including the implementation of hydrogen energy resources. This is crucial for the company as green hydrocarbon energy already has begun to play a significant role in moving both the sector and the world towards a more sustainable future, and so National Energy is highlighting how Trinidad and Tobago are key players in facilitating this shift in the Caribbean.

National Energy was incorporated in 1979 and has over 4 decades of experience implementing vital infrastructure across Trinidad and Tobago’s energy industry to better serve its customers on both a local and international scale. However, today, the company’s central mission is to be the global leader in the development of sustainable energy-based industries by leveraging its expertise accumulated across the years, as well as from the ownership and operation of assets, to produce energy solutions for the future which focus on innovation, whilst optimising its strategic alliances and the wealth of market intelligence at its disposal.

For National Energy hydrogen is the future of energy services, and so the company has devised its own Green Hydrogen Roadmap. The plan is in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) which has set out a roadmap for a green hydrogen economy for Trinidad and Tobago. Through the development of its oil and gas infrastructure, National Energy is set on giving the nation a head start when it comes to establishing a hydrogen economy by developing its existing storage and export facilities. Therefore, the region will continue to play a major role as a natural gas exporter whilst it leverages its existing facilities and connections to attract investment from around the globe and exploit green energy carriers to ensure a future of sustainable economic growth.

For National Energy the natural first step towards developing the region towards alternative energy starts in developing energy efficiency of existing energy infrastructure. Consequently, the company is currently undertaking an Energy Services Company (ESCO) Programme which is looking at unlocking the full potential of all enterprises locally. The programme hopes to create an environment which spurs entrepreneurial activity, as well as job creation, whilst developing definitive feasibility energy efficiency programmes based on robust financial analysis to facilitate large-scale implementation of energy-efficient projects.

Current projects under National Energy include the Preysal Service Station, where renewable energy is integrated into the commercial operation of the business. The service station provides a full range of liquid fuels, compressed natural gas and electric vehicle charging via renewable energy. In 2021, a 100-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system was commissioned and installed at the service station to provide the facility with continued renewable energy resources. The entire design, procurement and supply of the system was facilitated by National Energy to continue its goal of significantly reducing carbon emissions by 2030.

Other projects include the development of the Brechin Castle Solar Farm as part of Project Lara. The solar farm will have an output power capacity of roughly 112 megawatts (MW) and is being developed by a consortium of Light Source BP, BP, and Shell. The Brechin Castle Solar Farm is the largest of two commercial projects under Project Lara and is hoped to save Trinidad and Tobago 123,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emission when operational. In addition to the solar field, National Energy has partnered with both the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries (MEEI) and the University of Trinidad and Tobago to build a one-of-a-kind solar house. The house is 732 square feet and is designed to meet the average energy needs of a household of 4-5 people. It is not connected to the national power grid and highlights the future of construction infrastructure to build properties which are entirely self-sufficient thanks to solar energy.

Due to the location of Trinidad and Tobago in a sunny climate, it is a great location to implement both solar and wind-powered energy infrastructure. Consequently, to harness the power of the region’s location and to establish a strong and sustainable infrastructure for the future, National Energy continues to work with MEEI to implement renewable energy systems such as solar lighting at a range of schools and community centres. This highlights the role that National Energy continues to play in implementing key infrastructure for the benefit of citizens first. Furthermore, National Energy continues to invest in the community and the environment with a goal of 30% of the region’s electricity to come from renewable energy resources by 2030.

To facilitate the energy industry, National Energy has also developed 3 industrial estates which play a vital role in working with the region’s industrial ports to help in the delivery of oil shipments, plant components, LNG, and petrochemicals. The industrial estates have fully integrated infrastructure and utilities, with the La Brea Industrial Estate having its own deep-water port. Ports are vital to National Energy’s operations and so a significant part of its role is working with companies operating in the energy sector as these companies need dedicated ports for the importation and exportation of materials and products. Consequently, industrial ports have been developed by the company to facilitate these shipments of vital fuel and components. Therefore, National Energy also facilitates a range of port activities including towage, management, and operation of 3 strategically located industrial ports (Port of Galeota, Port of Brighton and ISCOTT Dock).

Overall, National Energy has such a vast array of operations across Trinidad and Tobago as it works to make energy infrastructure secure for the future, all whilst implementing key measures to develop green energy resources from solar and wind to capture the geographical benefits of the region. All of the company’s operations can be seen to be working towards the global call for carbon reduction, and ultimately to bring benefits to both the people of Trinidad and Tobago and the environment. We look forward to seeing how National Energy continues to play a leading role in moving the region toward a green energy economy, as the world moves ever more towards carbon reduction.