economy

RIC pushes closer to WASA, T&TEC rate hikes

The Regulated Industries Commission will be consulting with members of the public in late April or early May on a proposed rate increase for the T&T Electricity Commission (T&TEC) and by the end of July or early August will hold public consultations on recommended increases for the Water and Sewerage Authority.

And although there is no guarantee that the recommended increases will be implemented those with the authority to implement the recommended increases are being urged to consider the current economic challenges before asking citizens to pay more for the utilities.

T&TEC examines rate hike to offset $bn annual wage bill

The T&T Electricity Commission has been operating at a loss for the past seven years and its chairman is saying that the board of directors is now looking at whether there is need to trim the fat at the utility which has close to 3,000 employees an annual wage bill of over a billion dollars.

New airline to service Trinidad-Tobago airbridge soon

A new airline is in the making to compete with Caribbean Airlines on the Trinidad and Tobago airbridge.

The airline is to be called Tobago Airways and the businessmen behind it are seeking to attract investors.

The airline's website, www.tobagoairways.com has a countdown that currently shows 29 days with a headline, "Something new and exciting is coming soon".

A proposal being issued to investors names the airline's Chief Executive Officer as Raymond McMillan.

CNC: Accepting NGC's offer would make us uncompetitive in global ammonia market

The Caribbean Nitrogen Company (CNC) said it risked becoming uncompetitive in the global ammonia market if it had accepted proposals for a long-term contract by the National Gas Company (NGC).

According to a release issued by the company, it did not accept NGC's final offer as it would have put the plant in a negative financial position.

The move it said would have led to business becoming unsustainable.

The release also sought to clarify information that may affect its future.

Finance Minister: US$3 billion spent on credit card purchases yearly

T&T's credit card holders utilise US$3 billion annually in foreign exchange.

The whopping figure was revealed yesterday by Finance Minister Colm Imbert in response to questions for oral answers in Parliament.

Responding to a question posed by Naparima Member of Parliament Rodney Charles as to whether an equitable system had been developed to ensure that small businesses are not significantly disadvantaged by foreign exchange shortages, Imbert said T&T liberalised its exchange rate regime in 1983, thereby removing control on foreign exchange transactions.

NGC condemns attack on chairman Gerry Brooks

The National Gas Company (NGC) is condemning what it calls an unwarranted attack on chairman Gerry Brooks.

This follows a statement by the Caribbean Nitrogen Company (CNC) on Thursday, which placed the blame for the shutdown of its plant at the feet of Brooks.

The NGC replied with a statement on Friday:

"NGC categorically condemns and rejects the unprofessional, personal and unwarranted attack on its Chairman and Board by CNC.

NGC, CNC head to UK Court of Arbitration

The battle between the National Gas Company (NGC) and Caribbean Nitrogen Company (CNC) is now heading to the Court of Arbitration in the United Kingdom, the result of which could have dire consequences for both companies.

At the heart of the battle is the price the NGC is prepared to sell natural gas to the downstream companies, the continued shortage of gas and recent contracts signed by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley which wedded the NGC to pay higher prices for gas from both bpTT and EOG Resources. Ironically EOG Resources is a major shareholder of CNC.

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