Leader of Opposition business, Senator Wade Mark, said the UNC intends to launch a full inquiry into NiQuan Energy Trinidad, after the company’s gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant in Pointe-a-Pierre went offline.
NiQuan’s natural gas contract with the Trinidad and Tobago Upstream Downstream Energy Operations Company Ltd (TTUDEOCL), was terminated on August 14th due to monies owed and the company’s future is now on shaky ground.
Wade, speaking at a UNC media conference at the Office of the Leader of the Opposition in Port-of-Spain yesterday, said the Government needs to come clean about the sweetheart deals it made with the company.
He also called on Finance Minister Colm Imbert to provide evidence that NiQuan Energy did, in fact, pay US$10 million to acquire the plant into the Consolidated Fund.
Mark said, “The UNC intends to conduct an independent forensic inquiry into the operations of NiQuan to determine, among other things, the cost/benefit analysis that led the Government to not only invest in shares in that company, but to grant them a slew of sweetheart arrangements, incentives and concessions.”
He claims NiQuan received gas, electricity and water at reduced rates.
He added, “There are so many unanswered questions surrounding how these people came here and how they were able to get all these lucrative concessions. No cost/benefit analysis has been done to determine if we, the taxpayers, are giving up all these benefits to this company. What is the net gain for the country? How many people are they employing? What kind of economic activity are they generating? Are they paying taxes? What kind of taxes are they paying? There is no proper submission for your consumption to determine the net benefit that would accrue to the country as a whole.”