NGC Green launched to improve energy use in Trinidad and Tobago

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

From left, NGC president Mark Loquan, Minister of Energy and Energy Industries Stuart Young, and NGC chairman Dr Joseph Ishmael Khan share a joke during the launch of the NGC Green Company Ltd on Wednesday. – Ayanna Kinsale

COMPRESSED natural gas (CNG) supplier NGC CNG was rebranded as NGC Green with an expanded remit of renewable energy and energy efficiency in a launch on Wednesday at Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain. The NGC will take a 30 per cent stake in the Project Lara solar farms at Orange Grove and Brechin Castle.

NGC chairman Dr Joseph Ishmael Khan said just like tourists watching an approaching tsunami on a Thailand beach, so too a huge wave was approaching the world in the form of climate change, requiring action now.

“We can no longer stand around on the shore,” he warned.

Khan said the NGC intended to become a carbon-neutral brand by 2050, which would also help the wider Caribbean.

NGC president Mark Loquan said the company wants TT’s energy mix to be 30 per cent renewables by 2030.

He lamented record-high carbon dioxide emissions globally last year, amounting to 40 billion tonnes. This was up by 1.1 per cent from the preceding year and up by 1.5 per cent from pre-pandemic levels, Loquan said.

“At the current emissions levels, the Global Carbon Budget team estimates a 50 per cent chance that global warming will exceed 1.5°C consistently around 2030.

“We need to cut 22 gigatonnes of greenhouse gases in the next seven years in order to keep 1.5°C within reach. The urgent challenge is to increase the pace of new clean energy projects, especially in many emerging and developing economies outside China.”

Loquan said that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees requires that renewable energy use is tripled by 2030, energy efficiency doubled, and carbon capture quadrupled.

He listed the NGC’s efforts towards these goals.

“We have embarked on a campaign to reduce our methane output by 25 per cent for our operated assets by 2025, compared to 2021. This involves monitoring our assets for leaks using satellite and infrared technology.”

Methane is a component of natural gas (and a product of farm animals) and a great contributor to global warming.

“We have been working closely with T&TEC and independent power producers to address inefficiencies in the power generation system, to help reduce value leakage and improve the carbon footprint of our power sector.”

Loquan said the NGC has been delivering on its mandate to accelerate the use of CNG in cars.

“In 2022, NGC CNG achieved the target set out in its founding mandate to support the introduction of 17,500 natural gas vehicles into the domestic market.”

“The NGC has lobbied industry by conferences, consultancy and collaborative decarbonisation projects, plus a project to help audit and improve energy efficiency in the light industrial and commercial sector.” The NGC has also invested in sustainable energy projects.

“We have set ourselves a goal of attaining 30 per cent of TT’s market share for renewable energy and energy efficiency business by the year 2030.”

He said the NGC CNG’s remit was widened last November to handle “clean and renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, alternative fuels, and research and development.

“We give all assurance that the business of CNG will continue under the green company.”

Displaying the new NGC Green logo, Loquan said it represented “progressive thinking, climate consciousness, and responsible and sustainable business.”

NGC Green sales and marketing manager Anna Lisa Goindoo said the company now offers 15 CNG stations nationwide, with more in the pipeline.

She said the provision of CNG in TT had leapt from 2.8 million litres in 2014 to 25 million litres in 2023 (where one litre of CNG is 0.59 kg).

Khan said the country’s solar projects can light 30,500 homes while saving 150,0000 tonnes of natural gas.

The NGC will be a 30 per cent equity investor in these Project Lara solar projects, he said, to help supply energy that is “cleaner, more accessible and more affordable.”