Government: Negotiations ongoing with potential buyer for Petrotrin refinery

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Energy Minister Stuart Young – File photo

THE Trinidad and Tobago Government remains optimistic over the sale of the Petrotrin refinery as a potential buyer is getting closer to closing a deal, said Energy Minister, Stuart Young in a media conference on May 6.

He said, the company still had to submit proposals and continue its due diligence as it continued the negotiation process with Government.

Responding to questions from the media at the Ministry of Energy’s office at the International Waterfront Complex in Port of Spain, Young said in order for the sale to be complete, Government had to be sure the company would meet all the requirements.

“You have to have access to crude, you will have to have engineering wherewithal, you have to have the ability and the financial capabilities to restart the refinery,” he said.

“They have to put in a proposal. I am hoping that will be sometime in the near future and we will be successful in our evaluation. So let’s wait and see. I don’t want to be premature.”

In April, the Prime Minister made note of the interested party but was tight-lipped about it, saying as soon as something was “put in writing,” the nation would be informed.

The Petrotrin refinery was mothballed in 2018 amid significant losses.

Since then, government has invited several entities to make offers to buy the refinery for operations. One such company was the Oilfield Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU’s) Patriotic Energies and Technologies. However, in 2018, Government turned down that company’s offer. Finance Minister Colm Imbert in a press conference in 2018, said based on the options provided, the government would have to bear the burden of financing the sale.

Patriotic tried again in 2021 and was once again denied.