CNC blames NGC chairman Gerry Brooks for shutdown of ammonia plant

Caribbean Nitrogen Company (CNC) which has stopped operations after the National Gas Company (NGC) cut off its gas supply due to contractual issues, is lashing out against NGC's chairman Gerry Brooks, accusing him of heavy-handed tactics towards them.

In a statement issued Thursday afternoon, CNC's Chief Executive Officer, Jerome Dookie, accuses Brooks of negatively affecting the livelihoods of over 400 workers.

The following is CNC's statement.

"In response to recent claims about National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago (NGC) margins and profits from Chairman Gerry Brooks, Caribbean Nitrogen Company (CNC) has called for an independent auditor to examine the relationship between the two companies and produce an unbiased picture of the value chain in the interest of all stakeholders.

“It’s time for the NGC to be transparent and stop hiding behind vague statements that don’t have any basis in reality,” said Jerome Dookie, CEO of CNC.

“We do not agree with Mr. Brooks’ position and completely reject his statements that accuse CNC of having unreasonable expectations, double digit returns and the potential for billions of dollars of losses for the NGC.”

“The NGC continues to make misleading statements to the people of Trinidad and Tobago about its actions and its finances claiming that it is not prepared to be subject to independent scrutiny. Even though NGC is in effect owned by the people of Trinidad and Tobago, Mr. Brooks’ precipitously heavy-handed tactics have just negatively affected the livelihood of more than 400 people, thereby threatening to wreak further havoc on the economy of the country”.

CNC said it would be willing to would work with Poten Partners or another third party and subject their company to an independent audit to show the relative returns each member of the value chain is earning. CNC believes that downstream companies such as themselves have always had the lowest returns on equity, and therefore NGC’s benefit is far more than they claim from their high prices, certainly significantly above international pricing for a gas transport pipeline company.

Contrary to popular belief, CNC receives no subsidies from NGC or the government, and in fact pays a premium over other providers in North America. The company is only looking for a fair rate that allows it to remain competitive in the market, and executives say that higher rates mean less money to invest back into the local economy.

“How can you invite us to the table and cut off our gas at the same time? We have been negotiating in good faith to resolve this situation, and we have already come to the table willing to compromise. We will not be taken advantage of and accept terms and pricing that would result in CNC running its operations for a disproportionate part of an agreement at a significant loss,” said Mr. Dookie."

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