(Trinidad Guardian) T&T would in coming weeks be the beneficiary of US$300 million worth of investments in different sectors, said Trade Minister Stephen Cadiz. He made the announcement yesterday at the official signing of a US$65 million pipeline project with Bredero Shaw Middle East Ltd (BBSMEL), at the ministry’s head office, Nicholas Towers, Port-of-Spain. The signing took pace place among the Trade Ministry, T&T Free Zones Company Ltd (TTFZ) and BBSMEL. Cadiz said this US$65 million pipeline-coating project is the first of the several large projects the ministry and TTFZ have lined up for 2012. “These multi-million-dollar projects were as a result of the removal of the US$50 million cap on capital expenditure by a company wanting to operate in a free zone,” Cadiz said. “This initiative encouraged more investments into T&T.” He explained that this augurs well for T&T because most of the investments are US$50 million and over. Noel Corcoran, project manager at BBSMEL, said the company signed a one-year contract with T&T and its focus would be on pipeline concrete and corrosive coating.
The Canadian company, one of seven business units under ShawCor Ltd, is no stranger to T&T as the pipeline-coating company has been in T&T in 2003 and 2009. ShawCor Ltd is a global energy services company specialising in products and services for the pipeline and pipe services, and petrochemical and industrial segments of the oil and gas industry and other industrial markets. The company’s third visit to T&T, Corcoran said, is to reestablish a pipeline concrete coating facility and storage yard at Site A, Union Industrial Estate, La Brea. He said about 180 locals would be employed with the company and 90 people from neighbouring communities would be hired. When the production increases, Corcoran stated the number of workers directly hired would increase to 150. He noted that indirectly, BBSMEL would contract services from various locals companies, including National Quarries Ltd, operators and truck drivers. Corcoran said BBSMEL would import half of its raw materials and the other half would be sourced locally.
He said its main raw materials—iron and ore—would come from Norway and Greece.
Meanwhile, Cadiz gave a brief overview of other multi-million-dollar projects. He said the Tier III data storage centre, to be established at the integrated science and technology Tamana InTeck Park, is almost ready for sign off. The park is a project of the State agency, Evolving Tecknologies and Enterprise Development Company Ltd (eTeck). “We have data centres in T&T, but T&T is the first in the region to establish a Tier III data centre. I think the closest country to acquire one is Jamaica.” The other project, Cadiz explained, is a water-proofing manufacturing company. Since 2010, Cadiz said the ministry and TTFZ have been in talks with an international company for this project. He did not identify the company, saying he did not want to preempt any agreement before a deal was signed. The project called for a lot of research, which was carried out by Lake Asphalt of T&T (1978) Ltd. The other investment, an offshore transfer facility, has the potential of contributing US$25 million to T&T’s gross domestic product.