Remarks from the NGC President, Mark Loquan

  • Honorable Stuart R. Young, Minister of Energy and Energy Industries
  • (Honorable Penelope Beckles – Minister of Planning and Development)
  • (Penelope Bradshaw Niles – Permanent Secretary Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries)
  • Sandra Fraser – Permanent Secretary Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries
  • Dr Joseph Ishmael Khan – Chairman NGC Group of Companies
  • Members of the Board of NGC Group of Companies
  • Dr. Vernon Paltoo – President National Energy
  • Mr. Dominic Rampersad – President PPGPL
  • Leadership Teams and staff from the NGC Group of Companies
  • Industry Leaders
  • Stakeholders and specially invited guests
  • Members of the Media….

Good morning.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are running out of time. 

Global carbon emissions from fossil fuels have risen again in 2023 – reaching record levels, according to research published on December 5th by the Global Carbon Project, an international consortium of scientists from more than 90 institutions. 

The researchers estimate that the world’s emissions of carbon dioxide will exceed 40 billion tons in 2023, including nearly 37 billion tons from fossil fuels. Overall emissions are up 1.1% compared to 2022 levels and 1.5% compared to pre-pandemic levels, continuing a 10-year plateau.

At the current emissions levels, the Global Carbon Budget team estimates a 50% chance that global warming will exceed 1.5°C consistently around 2030.  The global population is expected to grow by about 1.7 billion by 2050, almost all of which will be added to urban areas in Asia and Africa.

The Global Stocktake has told us exactly how far off track we are. We need to cut 22 gigatonnes of greenhouse gases in the next 7 years in order to keep 1.5°C within reach. The urgent challenge is to increase the pace of new clean energy projects, especially in many emerging and developing economies outside China, where investment in energy transitions needs to rise by more than five times by 2030 to reach the levels required in the NZE Scenario. 

Solar PV alone cannot get the world on track to meet its climate goals.  What is needed going forward?

According to COP 28 and IRENA:

  • TOTAL GLOBAL RENEWABLE POWER GENERATION CAPACITY WILL NEED TO TRIPLE BY 2030 to reach more than 11 000 GW under IRENA’s 1.5°C Scenario in the World Energy Transitions Outlook, with solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind power accounting for about 90% of renewable energy capacity additions.
  • ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS MUST DOUBLE BY 2030 TO REMAIN ON A 1.5°C PATHWAY. In IRENA’s 1.5°C Scenario this will be driven by a combination of efficient technologies in end-use sectors and extensive electrification
  • We need to implement projects to capture around 1.2 gigatonnes of CO2 by 2030 – this is 4 times our current target.
  • By the end of this decade – just six years from now – we must make deforestation a net-zero activity
  • Methane emissions generated from our industries need to fall by 30% to 60%.

These numbers may be daunting, but hearteningly, the world made a historic resolution at COP28 in December 2023 to start “transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems, in a just, orderly and equitable manner”. Moreover, one of the major stakeholders in the climate fight – the global energy sector – has begun to respond with the required urgency. 

Energy major bp, for example, increased global investment in its lower carbon ‘transition growth engines’ from around 3% in 2019 to around 30% in 2022, and is targeting development of around 50 gigawatts of net renewable generating capacity globally by 2030. 

In 2023, NGC hosted a visiting delegation from Malaysia’s Petronas, and their principals spoke of some exciting and ambitious renewable energy projects being managed by their new subsidiary Gentari, which was formed to accelerate the adoption and commercialisation of clean energy. Shell has also set forth its Powering Progress strategy, including details of how it will achieve its target to be a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050.   

According to BCG, to accelerate the energy transition, every company in this sector should treat six actions as mandatory:

  • Refine capital allocation. 
  • Focus on efficiency. 
  • Explore strategic M&A and divestitures. 
  • Forge new partnerships. 
  • Strengthen the balance sheet. 
  • Stress-test the supply chain. 

These are actions that we at the NGC Group have been trying to implement. We have been progressively increasing our attention toward and investment in the energy transition and climate action. To give just a capsular overview of some of our major activities:

  • We have embarked on a campaign to reduce our methane output by 25% for our operated assets by 2025, compared to 2021. This involves monitoring our assets for leaks using satellite and infrared technology. We also joined the global Oil and Gas Methane Partnership, and our declared targets and roadmap for methane reduction earned us the gold standard of reporting for 2022 and 2023.
  • We have been working closely with the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission and independent power producers to address inefficiencies in the power generation system, to help reduce value leakage and improve the carbon footprint of our power sector.
  • All Group subsidiaries are implementing measures to green their respective operations, to support the Group’s ambition of achieving 30 percent of Trinidad and Tobago’s Nationally Determined Contribution target for GHG reduction by 2040. 
  • We have been delivering on our mandate to accelerate the use of Compressed Natural Gas – CNG – as an alternative vehicular fuel. In 2022, (then) NGC CNG achieved the target set out in its founding mandate to support the introduction of 17,500 Natural Gas Vehicles into the domestic market.
  • Alongside our internal campaigns, we have been lobbying for action across our industry through conferences, consultancy and collaborative decarbonisation projects. Notably, we initiated a Super ESCO project to help audit and improve energy efficiency within the Light Industrial and Commercial sector.
  • Recognising the need to involve the public in the climate fight, we have introduced and supported a number of energy and sustainability education projects and products. Among these are the Energy SmarTT mobile app designed to increase energy effficiency awareness; the CariGreen clean energy research website; the Climate Adaptation and Resilience Portal – CARP; the SustainU online education platform; the REnewable Minds portal; the Re-Energize TnT secondary schools education project being executed with Shell; and our Small Steps to Change television series. 
  • Then of course, we have been investing in sustainable energy projects. We have set ourselves a goal of attaining 30 percent of Trinidad and Tobago’s market share for renewable energy and energy efficiency business by the year 2030. 

Ladies and gentlemen, everything I have shared is essentially an extended preface, intended to contextualise the announcement we are making today, which is the formation of a new subsidiary within the NGC Group – NGC Green Company Limited. Our decision to form this entity was made after considering:

  1. The need for continued investment in natural gas as a transitional fuel ALONGSIDE clean energy investments; and
  2. The value of having a separate business entity and dedicated capital allocation to focus exclusively on clean energy and energy efficiency.

It is my honour to officially announce that on November 15th, 2023 the operations of NGC CNG were expanded and the company as you know it was renamed NGC Green Company Limited. Given this mandate, the subsidiary NGC CNG was dissolved as an entity, and its portfolio absorbed into that of NGC Green. The operations and staff of NGC CNG have accordingly been reassigned to this new entity.  NGC Green has as its mandate to expand and accelerate the NGC Group’s pursuit of local, regional and international opportunities around clean and renewable energy; energy efficiency; sustainable transportation; alternative fuels and research and development. We give all assurance that the business of CNG will continue under the Green Company. 

Furthermore,  it is to be noted that this development will not transfer custody of all green agenda projects to NGC Green – all subsidiaries within the NGC Group will continue to pursue their individual operational greening activities, to reduce the carbon footprint at their respective facilities. As such, NGC Green will now have oversight of external projects and investments in the areas previously identified. 

With respect to its capital allocation, it is anticipated that circa 15% of the Group’s capital budget will now be assigned to NGC Green, to cover its operational costs and fund its investment activities. At this time, the company’s staff comprises former NGC CNG employees, with a President soon to be appointed. One of the first priorities will be to develop a resourcing plan to meet the business needs and to streamline the activities of NGC Green and the individual NGC entities, capturing their work in a common carbon framework, and we know there are priorities in the immediate term requiring attention, including CCUS and CBAM hitting our industry in 2026.

Of course, with a mandate and portfolio of its own, NGC Green will also have a unique brand identity. It is one that we hope will become emblematic of Trinidad and Tobago’s clean energy journey; synonymous with progressive thinking, climate consciousness, and responsible and sustainable business. 

It is my pleasure to premiere for this audience the face of our new company – the logo of NGC Green Company Limited. (LOGO UNVEILED)

Ladies and gentlemen, when NGC was incorporated in 1975, the economic landscape of Trinidad and Tobago was transformed. 

Given the direction of the global energy market today, we expect that the introduction of NGC Green as a state-owned sustainable energy company will be equally disruptive, and equally transformative. Our aspiration is for Trinidad and Tobago to become a leader, a trailblazer, an enabler of regional energy growth – this time, in the sustainable energy space. An IPO can even be considered down the road for greater national participation.

I am certain there will be many questions, which we will be happy to answer in due course. 

I thank you for your attention.

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