The commerce and consumer affairs ministry in Castries said in a weekend announcement that domestic supplies would drop by more than a third through to the end of the month after it was notified that one of the major importers of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is encountering difficulty in obtaining Trinidadian supplies.
Trinidad and Tobago is the Caribbean’s leading supplier of LPG and the third largest producer of natural gas in the Americas.
Commerce Minister Emma Hippolyte said in the statement that a “temporary reduction in throughput” in Trinidad is expected to lead to a 35 per cent reduction in gas supplies in St Lucia until about May 31, returning to normal by June 1.
But she said the ministry has been “reliably informed that while there may be an adequate supply on island at present” the company is pursuing “alternative sources of supply in order to meet future demands”. The statement did not elaborate.
“The Ministry of Commerce is working with the two major suppliers and providing the necessary support to ensure that the consuming public is not unduly affected,” she said.
In March, the governments of Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados announced a 330-kilometre (207 miles) natural gas pipeline connecting Tobago to Barbados would be completed within the next 18 months, in the first phase of an Eastern Caribbean gas pipeline project.
The Windward Islands of St Lucia and Dominica are to be the next stops in the pipeline.