Trinidad and Tobago approves small GTL plant

Curtis Williams
OGJ Correspondent

PORT OF SPAIN, Sept. 27 -- Trinidad and Tobago has approved construction of a $100 million gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant expected to start producing high-quality diesel fuel by first quarter 2007.

According Eric Williams, the Caribbean island nation's energy minister, state-owned Petrotrin will hold a 33% stake in the plant, to be built at Pointe-a-Pierre, in southern Trinidad. Petrotrin's partner will be World GTL, New York, which will hold the remaining two-thirds stake.

World GTL, founded in 2000, is run by former executives of ARCO and Royal Dutch Shell PLC. Its chairman, Gordon Barrows, is chairman of Barrows Co., a petroleum information company.

World GTL will approach capital markets to fund 70% of the $100 million cost of the plant.

Small in comparison with similar projects elsewhere, the plant will require 18.4 MMcfd of gas and produce 2,250 b/d of diesel.

The GTL plant is being built with parts from mothballed methanol plants and can be expanded if needed.

Gas for the plant will be supplied by Petrotrin, with more gas to be purchased from Trinidad's National Gas Co.

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