Quality and efficiency at Trinidad’s Point LisasFebruary 10, 2023
Ashley Taylor, president of the Point Lisas Industrial Port Development Corporation (PLIPDECO), talks to The Energy Year about recent developments at the industrial estate and key steps needed to improve the quality and efficiency of operations. PLIPDECO is engaged in industrial estate management, warehousing and logistics services, and port operations at Point Lisas.
What main activities took place at the Point Lisas Industrial Estate in 2022?
In anticipation of a further uptick in product demand, most of the plants have been focusing on doing the turnarounds and upgrades to ensure that they remain reliable, and their capacity remains at 100%. Every plant is different, so work has to be done specific to the plants. PLIPDECO is now focusing on the green agenda and reducing carbon emissions so a key focus is retooling in a way that would help us reduce emissions from the estate.
What steps have been taken to manage greenhouse gas emissions coming from the estate?
All the major companies here are required to abide by standards with respect to water pollution and carbon emissions. As we are the landlords of the Point Lisas Industrial Estate, they are required to provide us with quarterly emissions reports. Those data compliance requirements are aligned with the World Bank standard for the particular plants.
We are having discussions with some of the companies regarding adjustment to their emission guidelines to be consistent with the EMA standards where there is a variance between that of the EMA and the World Bank.
We have commenced a pilot programme with the University of Trinidad and Tobago and the Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre, which is a joint venture between the IMO and the European Union. The first step was to do an inventory of the emissions from trucks, equipment, power supply, vessels and in general anything that resulted in a carbon footprint. By first understanding what our carbon footprint is, we can then plan how to approach the reduction. The study has been completed and the University is now in the process of completing the draft report.
What is the current operating capacity of the Port of Point Lisas?
Point Lisas is the second major port in Trinidad and Tobago. We handle about 56% of the country’s containerised imports and exports. Throughput decreased during the pandemic but in 2021 we saw 4% growth, and in 2022 an increase of about 26%.
So we’ve seen improvements, but challenges remain, including a need to improve infrastructure. We are gradually making those needed investments, not only in infrastructure, but also in technology and equipment.
What key work needs to be done to improve the quality and efficiency of operations?
Our key project now is the upgrade of the container storage yard, where there is some major work to be done. And then of course, we have a continuing phased equipment replacement programme, which is where we replace some of the existing fleet of equipment to ensure a continuous level of reliability.
We’re investing a lot more time and effort into upgrading our technology. Within the next year or less, we are going to become the first port in the Caribbean to implement an automated gate system. This means that trucks coming to our facility will no longer need to stop and be processed by an individual. Electronic readers will read and interpret the truck and container numbers before allowing entry or exit from the Port.
Everything is going to be more technologically driven. That not only saves costs, but also improves our efficiency.
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