There are reports of a crisis in the local petrochemical sector as four plants have shut down in four months and there is word that more could be taken out of operation as the sector reels under low commodity prices and the high cost of natural gas in T&T.
Yesterday, the largest methanol producer in the country and one of the largest in the world, Proman, announced via a release that it had already suspended operations in one of its plants in T&T and more would be shut down if the situation remains the same.
The company has joined with the rest of the Point Lisas operators proposing Government temporarily reduce the price they are paying for natural gas in order to keep the industry going.
The shutdown of the four plants is already costing Government an estimated US$1.3 million a day in revenue and the National Gas Company has lost consumers for 15 per cent of the gas used on the estate, or almost quarter of a billion standard cubic feet of gas a day.
Proman also said yesterday it is looking to unlock substantial planned investment in the form of plant turnarounds.
It said globally, the impact of COVID-19 has resulted in a significant decline in both demand and pricing for petrochemical products and it does not expect its decision to shut a plant to have any immediate impact on its employee headcount.