About US$20M to Clean Up Tobago Oil Spill

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MINISTER of Energy and Energy Industries Stuart Young says between US$14 to US$20 million will be needed to bring back some normalcy to Tobago after the oil spill.

Speaking at a press conference at the International Waterfront Centre in Port of Spain on Monday, Young outlined the financial requirements and mechanisms in place to address the aftermath of the environmental catastrophe.


However, he said the expenditure would be covered by the International Convention on Civil Liability for oil pollution damage, to which Trinidad and Tobago has been a signatory since 2001.

The funds, Young explained, are designed to provide assistance in situations where vessel owners or responsible parties lack sufficient insurance or coverage. Despite Trinidad and Tobago ceasing contributions to the fund following the closure of the Petrotrin refinery in 2018, Young said that the fund remains accessible for legitimate claims related to oil spill cleanup efforts.


Young said he led a delegation to London on April 29 to advocate for approval, despite initial legal opinions suggesting potential obstacles and noted that the executive committee overseeing the fund agreed to compensate all reasonable claims arising from the Tobago oil spill incident.

Young said that legitimate claims would be subrogated to the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF), a UK-based nonprofit organisation specialising in responding to ship-sourced spills, for funding. He assured the public that once claims are verified and deemed legitimate, compensation would be promptly disbursed.


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