NPC says customers using more gas than agreed contributed to recent outages 

The recent natural gas outages that severely impacted hotels and restaurants on the West Coast have been blamed on most of the affected customers themselves.

The revelation followed a meeting today between Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss, officials of the National Petroleum Corporation (NPC), the Barbados National Oil Company Ltd (BNOC) and stakeholders in the tourism and manufacturing industries.

“What was revealed during the meeting is that the demand for natural gas has gone over and above the agreed supply requested by most of the customers, many of whom have been drawing down more than their agreed maximum amount,” a statement from the NPC said. It said that included some restaurants and hotels as well as the large industrial users of the commodity.

“Investigations so far have revealed that this seems to be the main cause of the recent outages,” added the statement.

It was explained during the meeting that a few minor leaks had been found and were being repaired, but that there was still more of the pipeline                                                      to be investigated.

The NPC said while these leaks may have contributed to the outages, these would not have been the main cause.

The corporation said the immediate solution to ensure there was an adequate supply for the upcoming Old Year’s Night and New Year’s Day activities was to request that customers, especially those on the West Coast, stagger the use of their natural gas and prepare as much as possible during the day.

It also suggested that those who are over their agreed maximum limit, cut back during this period.

“Additionally, all users of natural gas are encouraged to have a backup system in place, in the event of an emergency,” it added.

The NPC advised that in the national interest, major industrial enterprises should cooperate in this undertaking by reducing their use during what is a very busy period for the restaurants and hotels, to ensure there is a constant supply.

“In the meantime, the NPC has ramped up its customer service by positioning trained personnel who are available to take calls and direct customers as to what to do in the event of an outage when there is still pressure in the line.”

The gas company has also allocated a dedicated customer service line at 430-4051, where customers with major challenges are asked to call and report any issues. NPC officers can also be reached on their mobile phones at 234-2060/234-2063/234-2064.

“In addition to these short-term measures aimed at ensuring that the hotel and tourism sectors are not compromised at this critical period, the meeting discussed a number of other medium and long-term measures that will ensure the viability of the industry and the sustainability of a natural gas product,” said the corporation.

Today’s meeting was called to discuss the “unprecedented” outages and share plans for the continued delivery of the natural gas.

“The NPC has been supplying natural gas to Barbados since the 1800s and never before has there been an interruption of service of this magnitude,” it pointed out.

The meeting was also attended by senior officials of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), the Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA), the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) and the Barbados Manufacturers’ Association (BMA).


11 Responses to YOUR FAULT

  1. Matthew Greaves
    Matthew Greaves December 31, 2014 at 12:27 am

    wait so the customers are being blamed for using too much gas?lol

  2. Ramon Maynard
    Ramon Maynard December 31, 2014 at 12:36 am

    I don’t know but somehow this seems illogical…Barbados has enjoyed according to officials bumper tourist seasons and never has this problem occurred….with hotels and restaurants enjoying even higher occupancy during and after this period. Never before any problems about more than agreed usuage…guess because no problems creeped in and the consumers were billed accordingly. Forgive me, I might be slow…I’ll go now and finish cooking on my oil stove.

  3. Matthew Greaves
    Matthew Greaves December 31, 2014 at 12:40 am

    First i heard that there was a leak somewhere in the natural gas system then i heard air was in the system now i am hearing that the customers using too much gas i feel yall should shut down if you cant provide an efficient service and let ppl get bottle gas cause its just as expensive now stupes

  4. René Holder
    René Holder December 31, 2014 at 1:12 am

    I didn’t know there was a maximum limit for users on NPC gas… hmmm

  5. Perro Holloway
    Perro Holloway December 31, 2014 at 1:12 am

    I do not use natural gas but I assumed it is metered or there is some kind of regulator on the system you use you pay. Just like using water if I leave the pipe running for a week I pay for it at the end of the month. How does someone use to much gas.

  6. Tête La
    Tête La December 31, 2014 at 2:35 am

    I wear Slippers, so anything can stick me…

    find out when this crisis started and which business ( manufacturing or HOTEL) came in stream within the last 4 weeks…

    Ask yourself what equipment is currently in use and what method of powering is used

    That’s your homework for today…

  7. John Herbert
    John Herbert December 31, 2014 at 4:28 am

    “What was revealed during the meeting is that the demand for natural gas has gone over and above the AGREED supply REQUESTED by most of the customers, many of whom have been drawing down more than their AGREED maximum amount,”

    I hope you noticed the words AGREED and REQUESTED!!

  8. bernard and india walker December 31, 2014 at 7:23 am

    Rihanna ‘ honey did i pay the gas bill ? . Service head aches at the best party time of the year . Ouch mojita

  9. Samuel Morrison December 31, 2014 at 10:29 am

    i wonder at the ignorance of some persons relative to such issues as the one which now confront hotels and restaurants on the West Coast. The NPC always find out what will the needs of its industrial customers be, this is then calibrated relative to supply and demand. Home consumers are also factored into this overall equation and the NPC looks at that relative to their capacity to supply. It is a finely calibrated suplply mechanism. If the industrial sector ramps up its demand beyond certain agreed supply limits then immense pressure is put on the supply system. That is possibly the major reason that the industrial sector in the West Coast experienced low and intermittent supply. The demand for the natural gas resource simply outstripped available supply. I believe if the industrial sector had notified NPC of their increased demand then the appropriate action could have been taken to divert some of that capacity in other parts of the island to their needs. Barbados has been relying on diminishing natural gas supplies and thus this situation. Unless Barbados finds new domestic sources or imports natural gas then we will start to experience more outages over the coming years. We need to rise to the occasion rather than get into the blame game. I am sure the NPC wants to keeps its customers happy. The media needs to lead not propose sensationalism.

  10. Patrick Blackman December 31, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Is this crap for real, both sides of this problem are just plain ignorang people.. lol…

  11. Tony Waterman January 1, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    when i was a wee Lad growing up in Barbados, there was Gas in my gap albeit to this one House “Grey Dawn” owned by Mrs.Barker, said that to agree that Gas was being supplied to Houses and Businesses for a long time, without much fanfare, and in all that time (I am a septuagenarian now) i have NEVER seen these words “”AGREED SUPPLY and REQUESTED BY”” used by ANY Utilities supplier or USER. for Our Family House which is still there and still being used, we have NEVER agreed to or Requested anything when it came to Utilities we just paid them for what we had used.
    To blame the USERS of this UTILITY for the current SUPPLY problem is the HEIGHT of SILLYNESS,and shows a MONUMENTAL lack of preparedness, this is the HIGH Season in Barbados Tourism, why would the NPC not have made sure that all was well by increasing their Supply to these hopefully VALUED Customers , instead of being all SMUG as if they (NPC) are doing them a Favour, this shows a lack of togetherness by NPC as it pertains to being a part of the TOURISM BRAND, now many Visitors who came to Experience a Bajan Xmas will Experience Xmas somewhere else next Year, why would they come back to Barbados to be BLAMED for being part of OUR SUPPLY CHAIN PROBLEM. YES!!! in a way it is being seen by the powers that be as their Fault, because if they were not there in these huge numbers the Hotels/Restaurants, would not have “”Drawn down more than their agreed maximum amount””
    I guess that The Late George Jones had it Right in these Lyrics:-

    Oh, the faucet started
    Drippin’ in the kitchen
    And last night your picture
    Fell down from the wall
    Today the boss said “Sorry,
    I can’t use you anymore.”
    And tonight the light bulb
    Went Out in the hall

    Things have gone to pieces since **YOU**left me (Errol Barrow,Tom Adams)
    Nothing turns out half-right now it seems
    There ain’t nothing in my pocket,
    But three nickels and a dime
    But I’m holding to the pieces of my dream


    My real fear now is , that BWA and BL&PC now have a precedent to follow, hopefully the people who run the SEWEAGE SYSTEM can keep the EFFLUENT flowing, without BLAMING their CUSTOMERS for any problems that surface

    A happy Healthy and prosperous 2015 to all and Sundry.


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