Thu, 12 Nov 2020 05:20:24 +0000
NGC: Building a house of sustainability
NGC president Mark Loquan shares his optimism for the state energy giant amid concerns about the financial blow it took in the first half of this pandemic-hit year, in part one of an interview with associate editor CARLA BRIDGLAL.
The National Gas Company (NGC) has long been a beacon of stability, the crown jewel of state enterprises, delivering a steady stream of dividends to the government, over its 45-year history. But for the first time ever, in its half-year financial report for 2020, the company announced a loss – $316.2 million, down 296 per cent, or $477.3 million, compared to the same period before. As overwhelming as that sounds, however, it needs to be put into context.
NGC has endured extenuating circumstances over the last few months, not the least being the cumulative dampening effect of the covid19 pandemic on global demand for energy products, including natural gas. And even before that, the petrochemical industry, for which natural gas is a feedstock, has been going through one of its cyclical troughs with low demand, low prices and oversupply in the market. The company’s predicament, then, is not unique. (BP, for example, announced its 2020 half-year loss was US$21.2 billion, while Shell’s loss was US$18.15 billion.)