MINISTER of Energy Franklin Khan said the US$20 million deficit of Paria Fuel Trading Company Limited raised by the Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has been fixed.
He was responding to excerpts of a letter dated June 7, 2019 from chairman of Trinidad Petroleum Company Limited Wilfred Espinet to Minister of Energy Franklin Khan. The letter was read by Persad-Bissessar at the UNC’s Monday Night Forum in Fyzabad.
Stating that the letter was dropped in her mail box, Persad-Bissessar said it shows how after only eight months in operations, Paria was in serious trouble.
She said the letter stated that Paria was losing US$20 million per month and this spoke of a failure to implement ex-terminal pricing and an inability to secure two letters from the Ministry of Energy and the BIR to close the 2018 year-end audit and finalise long-term financing.
In interviews with local media yesterday, Khan said Paria had to buy fuel with foreign exchange and then sells it on the local market for TT dollars. He said Paria had a deficit of US$20 million per month, but the Minister of Finance Colm Imbert intervened and the foreign exchange will now be available by the Central Bank.
He said Paria will now pay the relevant TT dollar amount and get the necessary foreign exchange from the Central Bank.
Khan said there was no cash-flow deficit and Paria was generating a small profit.