Tourism minister assures no repeat of natural gas shortage
Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy is giving hoteliers the assurance that efforts are being made to ensure there is no repeat of the recent natural gas shortages.
Last month, several restaurant and hotel operators complained about experiencing low gas pressure, which they said impacted negatively on their operations. The problem was also felt on the South Coast.
Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the Blue Sky Luxury loyalty card at George Washington House yesterday evening, Sealy said the National Petroleum Corporation (NPC) was aware of “what was at stake” and was working to avoid a similar episode.
He said he has also been in touch with Senator Darcy Boyce, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Energy, who gave the assurance that the issue was being rectified.
“I had a good briefing from the minister responsible for energy [yesterday] and he has given me assurances that they will make the adjustments to ensure that while we are going through this period of high levels of occupancy in our hotels that they will, in fact, be giving some attention to ensure that they can still have all the natural gas they need for their purposes,” Sealy said.
“It is important going forward that we do not find ourselves having to repeat these scenarios . . . What we have to make sure is that with the appropriate planning and communication we can avoid anything like this happening again in the future. We all know the timing was totally inappropriate from a tourism point of view and we can hope that the remedies that are being put in place by Minister Boyce and his team and the folk at the NPC will work for us.”
Earlier this week, Prime Minsiter Freundel Stuart announced a $7 million plan to bring relief to businesses suffering from a shortage of natural gas.
Noting that the NPC had discovered that the production of some wells had fallen below the economic threshold, Stuart said that two other wells had been identified that would be connected to the Barbados National Oil Company Limited’s (BNOCL) existing gas-gathering system.
The proposal came out of a special joint meeting between the technical sub-committee and boards of BNOCL and NPC.