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Firefighters try to out the blaze at NP’s Sea Lots compound last Friday.

Two of the three victims of last Friday’ s NP compound explosion have been discharged from hospital—but one remains warded.

And the reports of three investigations being done on the explosion, will be made public, Energy Minister Franklin Khan said yesterday.

He gave the information in the Senate replying to UNC senator Wade Mark’s queries.

Khan said the blast occurred around 12.54 pm last Friday in the vicinity of Tank Four on NP’s Sea Lots compound.

Khan said the tank was being pumped for maintenance work and the pumping exercise was virtually completed when the blast occurred.

Three people were injured. He said two were discharged and one remains hospitalised, “We wish him a speedy recovery.”

When the explosion occurred Guardian Media was told the middle aged contractor who was conducting the work on the tank—and standing closest to it—sustained the most injuries with burns to the body. A younger man sustained burns to the face.

Yesterday, Khan said, “An incident of this nature isn’t accepted in any sector but particularly in the energy sector which deals with flammable fluids and gases.”

He said several investigations have started on the issue. Statutory requirements call for his ministry to launch a probe. He said OSHA is doing another independently. NP also commissioned an independent team outside of its own portfolio

All reports will be made available to the public.

“I think these three (probes) will give a clear understanding of what went on and what remedial action and preventative measures could be implemented in order not to have a recurrence of this exercise,”

On another issue, Khan said NGC’s financial performance in 2019 was adversely affected by falling commodity prices and increased margins, impacting profitability. It was also affected by the COVID-19 global impact which depressed its 2020 performance.

Khan said T&T has to hope the global situation rebounds and that was why the COVID vaccine was important since T&T—a price taker—depends on the market. He stressed the issue isn’t upstream prices but commodity prices.

“We’re trying our best to optimize efficiency but we’re still at the market’s mercy…once commodity prices remain depressed there will be a challenge,”

NGC’s strategies to overcome the situation includes optimisation including enhancing operations and a value chain review being done by Government to improve synergies in T&T’s gas industry.