NGC is born

Prime Minister Williams, in his 1975 budget speech, announced that Government or a…..

Prime Minister Williams, in his 1975 budget speech, announced that Government or a designated agency would become the sole seller of gas which would be a ‘trigger’ for industrialisation and on 6 March 1975, Cabinet agreed to the formation of an entity. By 7 August, Cabinet announced the Company’s name as The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited, a wholly owned State company registered under the Company’s Ordinance with an authorised share capital of TT$45 million. NGC now operated as a private company and was positioned at the centre of the natural gas industry and given oversight for its development for the economic and social benefit of the country.

Two weeks later on 22 August, the new company began its operations with its first board meeting comprising:

  • Bernard V. Primus – Chairman
  • Basharrat Ali – Director of Energy Planning
  • Kamala Bhoolai – Ministry of Petroleum and Mines
  • Sam A. Martin – Ministry of Finance
  • Prof. Kenneth S. Julien – The UWI
  • Prof. G. Maxwell Richards – The UWI
  • Eldon G. Warner – General Manager, Industrial Development Corporation
  • Knollys Ahloy – Chief Executive Officer, NGC

In the initial months, NGC’s business involved its own development and servicing its half-dozen customers whose total gas sales for the year amounted to 370 mcf. In 1975, NGC’s sales revenue was TT$180,000 and profit, though marginal, was TT$19,000.

Another priority of the new company was the negotiation of an important contract between the Government and Amoco for a supply of gas to T&TEC. Parallel to this, the Government Task Force, mandated to accelerate early gas-based initiatives, began receiving firm investment decisions for the construction of ammonia, urea, iron and steel and methanol plants on the Point Lisas Industrial Estate.

By early 1976, the NGC arm of the strategy was two-fold – to create the pipeline blueprint for gas development as well as create the necessary infrastructure, including pipelines and other facilities to move natural gas from offshore to Point Lisas.