Chinese Company Claims US$300M in Smelter Abitration

Spread the love

By Sue-Ann Wayow

THE Chinese company initially contracted to build the aluminium smelter plant is now in arbitration with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago asking for US$300 million to settle the dispute.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley made this announcement on Sunday during the launch of the People’s National Movement (PNM) presentation of candidates for the Local Government Election at the Nothern Acadamy for the Performing Arts.

He said, “One of the things we are doing right now is receiving and treating with an arbitration where the Chinese company that was going to build the aluminium smelter which was stopped mid-stream is now pressing its claim legally for $300 million US dollars.”

The issue of the smelter goes back to 2009 when the Chinese government agreed to provide Trinidad and Tobago with $112 million, the balance of a $300 million concessional loan for construction of the 125,000 metric ton per year facility near La Brea under the Patrick Manning administration.

It was one of the first projects to be scrapped by the People’s Partnership administration when they took office in 2010.

However, Dr Rowley said with many talks on diversification, the former government shut down an establishment that would have produced many different aluminium-based products and did nothing to replace it.

“It now falls to my government to deal with that,” he said.

Dr Rowley admitted he did not deliberately raise the issue when he last visited China nor was it raised by the Chinese authorities.

“Now that the years have passed, and we have not settled that claim, it is now a legal matter and the lawyers which don’t come cheap, the lawyers are talking,” he said.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *