LNG production company Atlantic has opened a new, state of the art Control Room at its Point Fortin facility, an investment which CEO Nigel Darlow said reflected the company’s confidence in the long term viability of Trinidad and Tobago’s LNG business.
Darlow made these comments while hosting the Minister of Energy and Energy Industries, Hon. Nicole Olivierre on her visit to Atlantic on March 8 to officially open the new Control Room.
The Control Room is the heart of Atlantic’s operations, where its four LNG processing trains are monitored and controlled remotely by teams of Process Plant Operators. The new Control Room uses the latest technology in the industry, which will help Atlantic to enhance facility safety and maintain its safety record of over 31 million man hours worked (over 8 years) without a Lost Time Injury.
The new Control Room will also facilitate the professional development of the company’s Process Plant Operators via a best-in-class Operator Training Simulator (OTS). The OTS will help Atlantic’s Process Plant Operators further enhance their problem-solving and analytical skills, deepening their experience in LNG operations.
On her tour of the new facility, the Minister of Energy and Energy Industries met some of the Process Plant Operators, including Dunstan Maitland, a participant in the Atlantic International Exchange Programme. Under this Programme, Maitland and his colleagues Ryan Bissessar, Mark Barker and Peter Rogers undertook a two-year assignment at Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) in Eastern Australia, where they supported the commissioning and start-up of a two-train liquefaction facility. The Minister said that the upgraded Control Room and the employee exchange programme reinforced Atlantic’s commitment to excellence in technological innovation and also human capital development.
“Congratulations to Atlantic on maintaining its reputation as a world leader with reliable and safe operations and being an ambassador for the Trinidad and Tobago Energy sector,” Minister Olivierre said.
Describing the new Control Room as Atlantic’s investment in its future, CEO Darlow said that while 2015 had been a challenging year for LNG production due to low gas prices on the global market and also to curtailment of local supply of natural gas, nevertheless the long term outlook was favourable.
“I think we will see a gradual recovery in the LNG market globally,” Darlow said. “Global demand for LNG is still growing at 5% per year. There is lot of new supply coming on stream and that will take a while to be digested in the market, but I think the long term dynamics for LNG are good. I don’t worry about the new LNG plants being built in other countries. Trinidad and Tobago’s LNG will always be in demand.”
Darlow explained that this country’s LNG was among the most competitive in the global business, as Atlantic’s production cost was lower than that of recent LNG start-ups or new facilities now under construction.