Minister of Energy and Energy Industries, Franklin Khan told an online press conference on Saturday that the proposal by Patriotic Energies which is owned by the OWTU had been rejected
“Today, I regret to say that this final proposal does not address the outstanding issues that could lead to a contractual sign agreement, and that is the state of play as we speak.”
Khan said the government was committed to restarting the refinery with private capital injection, mindful that it restarts and has significant and positive impacts on the economy, GDP, and unemployment .
However in response Abdulah told Trinidad Newsday in an interview: “Not selling the refinery to Patriotic is the second major economic crime by the Keith Rowley government. The first economic crime was closing down Petrotrin and sending home the workers.”
On 30 November 2018, Petrotrin the country's largest refinery officially closed after 101 years in operation. The Keith Rowley administration said it had been losing billions of dollars (One TT dollar=US$0.16 cents) on the operations of the facility annually over the years.
In September, Prime Minister Rowley, in an interview with the Trinidad Guardian, admitted that Patriotic Technologies “made us the best offer and was selected (and) we are currently working out contractual arrangements on which the outcome will depend. They are close, but it’s not finalised.”
However, as he delivered the TT$49.5 billion national budget to Parliament earlier this month, Finance Minister Colm Imbert described the negotiations as “protracted” and issued a warning that the government was not prepared to continue the negotiations indefinitely without an agreement .
He told legislators that the government’s deadline for the completion of this exercise is October 31, this year “and if agreement cannot be reached on a viable or practical contractual agreement by that time, after giving Patriotic all possible opportunities to finalise the terms of the agreement, the process will be brought to an end, and the government will consider other options for the sale of the refinery”.
Last year, the government said that it was granting Patriotic a three-year moratorium on the US$700 million purchase price and interest, and a further 10 years to pay the US$700 million it offered for the refinery.
The government had said that 77 bids were initially received which were narrowed down to 25 of which eight then submitted non-binding offers.
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