Proposed natural gas hike ‘non-negotiable’, warns Stuart

With the state-run National Petroleum Corporation (NPC) currently projecting a loss of about $4.7 million next year, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart Friday warned ahead of Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler’s much-anticipated Budget presentation later this month that “some kind of rate increase” would be coming to help NPC meet its financial obligations and effectively carry out its mandate.

Leading off parliamentary debate on the NPC bill, Stuart further warned that the proposed amendments to the Act, which also make provision for penalties for breaches to its provisions, were “non-negotiable” at this stage.

“We have to take into consideration a debt which it owes to the BNOCL [Barbados National Oil Company Limited], which at present stands in excess of $11 million and its inability too, to service, maintain, replace and or reposition old and unsecure pipeline infrastructure,” the prime minister said, while lamenting that the state-run entity had been forced to function under “crippling revenue circumstances”.

“What we are doing here today was being requested by the National Petroleum Corporation for a number of years going back to the year 2000. But certainly from 2005 initiatives were being put forward so that what we are attempting to do here today could be done, but those initiatives were not entertained,” Stuart said, in making it clear that the problems were inherited by his ruling Democratic Labour Party, which came to office in 2008.

Residents were first put on notice of a rate increase in natural gas prices last month, when Minister of Industry and Commerce Donville Inniss disclosed that the ministries of finance and energy were in the final stages of discussions on the matter.

Currently, consumers pay a monthly rate which consists of a consumption charge of $1.48 per cubic metre, a fixed charge of $3.00 per month for each domestic meter, and 17.5 per cent Value Added Tax, with a ten per cent discount given for bills settled within 15 days of the due date.

7 Responses to Proposed natural gas hike ‘non-negotiable’, warns Stuart

  1. Sunshine Sunny Shine May 6, 2017 at 6:34 am

    Yours coming too Stuey, don’t worry.

  2. Tony Webster May 6, 2017 at 6:35 am

    Jam ….sorry, natural gas, coming to evahbody… “tomorrow”….or “soon”…cud even be already “on de table”…(yes, that one is intentional). But to get the “whole picture” in good running order…we gine put up rates today…

    The worst part of yesterdays “pop-up” debate fiasco in The House, was the barely-concealed insult to our intelligence, as to the real underlying purpose(s). For those of slothful mind, this was reflected in the CH-8 newscaster’s opening words last nite: ( I paraphrase):-
    “Many more Bajans households can look forward to the benefits of an expanded natural gas network. However, the price will need to adjusted etc”.

    If some of those folks in The House told me, hand on a bible, that my birthdate falls on I was born on 20th April….I would doubt them, and check my I.D. card.

  3. Lilian Lloyd
    Lilian Lloyd May 6, 2017 at 7:18 am


  4. Sandor Barker
    Sandor Barker May 6, 2017 at 7:42 am


  5. Peter May 6, 2017 at 8:38 am

    The cost of prepared foods from restaurants, food vans, pastry products, bread and even pudding and souse will be increased. All these increases have to cover the costs relating to its supply. Like laying pipelines, the cost of meters which are not cheap, the billing and payment system, plus the repairs and maintenance. All this will impact on the lower end of Barbadians. But at the end of the day, cooking gas in Barbados is relatively inexpensive and there is a need for increase in rates there. I think the Water Authority can reduce their operational costs considerably through the use pf solar energy to supply literally free energy to its pumping stations which pumps water into homes island wide and which is reflected in their monthly billing. Bizzy Williams has been telling authorities for years that Barbados can vastly reduce its oil import bill by harnessing solar energy but as usual, no one in this government listens.

  6. Anson Sobers
    Anson Sobers May 6, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Can’t NPC customers base be increased to reduce the amount of money spent on gas by these households? This immediately leads to increases in prices for goods and services provided using natural gas as an input yet wages and salaries across the island remain the same and in some cases job losses increase.

  7. Oral May 6, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Good afternoon. People complain about old pipes and old roads etc. Yet when talk about improving these things come up most people talk about the end cost down the line. Can we improve our infrastructure without spending money? No. I am not saying they cannot find other means like alternative energy that can help cut cost. Theses things have to be done and we all must pay for them as its our country. We can stand and debate everything that has a cost but do we want in years to come we seem like we stuck in some sort of stone age? I wish thus government was not so careless in their approach to the measures since 2008 this country needed to come out of this slump. Worrying about losing the possible second term back then instead of us feeling it then and on the way up all now. We ended up facing tough times longer than we should have . I don’t belong to any party but I will vote. That decision will be made election time not now. Put Barbados first and politic’s second.


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