By Sue-Ann Wayow
GOVERNMENT has rejected the proposal from Patriotic Energies’s proposal to purchase Petrotrin’s refinery at Pointe-a-Pierre.
Patriotic Energies owned by the Oilfield Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) had been a main negotiator for the purchase of the refinery that ceased operations in 2018.
Speaking at a virtual press conference on Saturday, Energy Minister Franklin Khan said, “The final proposal does not address the outstanding issues.”
Khan stated that Government remained committed to restarting the refinery at the soonest possible time and added Government will be looking at other proposals for the take-over.
In a statement issued on its Facebook page on Friday the OWTU stated,
“The OWTU, during negotiations for the sale of the Pointe-a-Pierre Refinery and the Port, parties encountered a major challenge with respect to the offer made by the Minister of Finance on September 20 2019.On September 28 2020, the Prime Minister gave the end of October as the deadline for parties to agree on a way towards final closure of the acquisition process. However, it was only on last Wednesday, October 21st 2020, that Patriotic finally met with the Ministerial committee in an attempt to resolve the unique challenge associated with the Government’s offer of September 20th, last year.”
The OWTU stated, “At last week’s meeting, Patriotic reiterated its commitment to complete the process and therefore agreed to submit a proposal to overcome the “stumbling block”. Subsequently Patriotic met with its international team and developed the proposal for the way forward. At exactly 10:07 pm last evening, Thursday, October 29 Patriotic submitted a proposal for resolution of the issues, ahead of the Prime Minister’s deadline. Patriotic earnestly hopes that this proposal will lead to the swift completion of the acquisition process, paving the way to the reopening of the refinery in the interest of the People of Trinidad and Tobago.”
The union had been actively working towards achieving the ownership of Petrotrin stating that it should not fall into international hands.