In Trinidad and Tobago, electricity generation is primarily from natural gas. This natural gas fuel is burnt and the heat energy released is used to produce steam. This steam is then used to turn a steam turbine which is connected to an electrical generator to produce electricity. In some instances, the steam portion of the cycle is omitted and the gas is burnt directly in a gas turbine connected to a generator to produce electricity.
Ownership: GOTT - 100%
The early history of electricity in Trinidad and Tobago is closely connected with public transport which commenced in 1882. In December 1886, a group of local businessmen was granted a 20-year franchise to run an Electric Power Station and tramway system in Port of Spain.
In 1894, Edgar Tripp formed the Electric Light and Power Company. In March 1895, electricity was installed for the first time in Trinidad and two of the first buildings to have electric lights were the original Queens Park Hotel and the Princess Building.
A Canadian businessman bought the Electric and Transport System from local businessmen in 1901. The company was called the Trinidad Electric Company Limited.
The Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) came into being by virtue of the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission Ordinance No. 42 of 1945. It was formed to generate electricity and to distribute it outside the city of Port of Spain and the town of San Fernando.
The Commission held its first board meeting on 28th December, 1945 and T&TEC began its operations on 1st January 1946. It was responsible for the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity throughout Trinidad and Tobago. Electricity was first used in Tobago in that same year.
The Point Lisas Power Station was formally opened in 1977, to keep supply the emerging industries at the Point Lisas Industrial Estate.
Over the years T&TEC has moved from an integrated power company (power generation, transmission and distribution) to an organisation where focus is on design, construction operation and maintenance of the country's electrical transmission and distribution network, with generation being done by Independent Power Producers (IPPs) - Powergen and Trinity Power.
Bulk power is supplied to Trinidad and Tobago via a single electricity grid.
Capacity: This power station will be able to produce 64 megawatts (MW) and can operate on natural gas, with diesel as a back-up. Prior to the addition of this new facility, the electrical power needs of Tobago were met by the T&TEC Scarborough Power Station (with a generating capacity of 21 MW, although uses only diesel fuel).
Start of commercial operations: The plant was commissioned in October 2009.
The new power station will reduce present transmission losses and reduce dependence on diesel fuel when it begins to operate on natural gas. The new station will receive the natural gas for its operations from the east coast of Trinidad, in a phased development.
The Power Generation Company of Trinidad and Tobago was established on December 23, 1994 and is a joint venture company created out of the partial divestment of T&TEC. Powergen was formed to purchase the generation assets of T&TEC. Majority shareholding in Powergen has however been retained by T&TEC.
Ownership: Amoco Trinidad Power Resources Corporation, MaruEnergy Trinidad LLC and T&TEC
Capacity: 1,344 Megawatts (MW)
Powergen operates three major power generation plants at Point Lisas, Port of Spain and Penal. The largest plant is located at Point Lisas.
Their individual capacities are:
Ownership: Trinity Power Limited is owned by a US consortium, with the controlling interest being an independent power and infrastructure company with expertise in the development, acquisition and long-term operation of power generation plants.
Start of commercial operations: September 1999.
Ownership: Trinidad Generation Unlimited (TGU), a locally registered subsidiary of AES Global Inc.
Capacity: 720MW combined cycle power generation (Union Industrial Estate in La Brea).
The Union Estate Power Station (UEPS) will generate electricity to supply 240 MW to the Alutrint Aluminium Complex (AAC) through two dedicated transmission lines and a sub-station to be owned and operated by TTEC, with the extra 480MW going into the national grid.