National Energy Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (NEC) was incorporated by the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (GORTT) in 1979. NEC’s initial function was to formalise the structure of the Coordinating Task Force which had been in operation since 1975. The Task Force’s main purpose was to:
- Oversee the development of the Point Lisas Industrial Estate; and
- Examine the feasibility of establishing a number of proposed energy-related industries in Trinidad and Tobago.
This mandate was inherited by NEC, and in conjunction with Point Lisas Industrial Development Company Limited (PLIPDECO), NEC developed the roads, port infrastructure and harbour for the Point Lisas Industrial Estate.
NEC would also manage the construction, commissioning and commercial operations of Trinidad and Tobago’s first world-scale methanol and urea plants, TTMC 1 and TTUC. These projects were all funded by GORTT as the sole shareholder, from revenue earned during the petroleum windfall of the 1970s.
The mid 1980s would see a sharp decline in oil revenue as the boom ended. At this time, the fledgling local methanol and urea industries underwent tremendous pressure as the commodities market for both methanol and urea plummeted.
The decision was taken to split off TTMC and TTUC resulting in a significant reduction in the Company’s asset base and its revenue stream. While NEC retained its core abilities in business development, the company simply lacked the financing capability to carry out its mandate.
Thus, in the early 1990s, a decision was taken by GORTT to merge NEC with The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (NGC) the country’s strongest state energy sector performer, whose revenue base could support business development.
In 1999 NEC was revitalized as a wholly-owned subsidiary of NGC becoming an independent entity within the NGC Group of Companies, with a mandate “to develop and manage suitable infrastructure in order to facilitate and promote the various activities relevant and appropriate to natural gas-related operations.”
In February 2004, NEC’s mandate was further expanded to include the facilitation and promotion of natural gas-based development. NEC’s mandate can be summarized as follows:
- The conceptualization, promotion, development and facilitation of new energy-based and downstream industries in Trinidad and Tobago;
- Identification and development of new industrial estates;
- Identification and development of new industrial deep water ports to facilitate these estates;
- Ownership and operation of marine and other infrastructural assets to facilitate all gas-based petrochemical and metal plants;
- Development and management of La Brea Industrial Estate and Union Industrial Estate;
- Towage and harbour operations;
- Sustainable management of the environment.