PM: Preferred bidder identified for refinery

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.

THE Prime Minister said a preferred bidder has been identified to buy the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery, replying to a question by Pointe-a-Pierre MP David Lee during prime minister’s questions in the House of Representatives on Monday.

Lee had sought an update after recalling Energy Minister Stuart Young recently saying four bidders were given until April to submit revised proposals.

Dr Rowley replied, “The further proposals of the four bidders were received and evaluated. After evaluation, TPHL (Trinidad Petroleum Holdings Ltd) has identified a preferred bidder and is currently pursuing discussions with this entity. The process is ongoing.”

He said Lee rightly said this had been stated only recently.

Lee asked if there was a timeline to conclude this evaluation. The PM said Lee should know the answer was no.

“Given the nature of what is happening, one cannot put a timeline on it at this stage, and it being only recent, it is reasonable to assume that as the work is ongoing, that a timeline as to when it will be concluded is not really feasible at this stage, and I’m not going to guess at that.”

Lee pressed, saying valuations had been around a while, but his question was deemed to be a repeat and was disallowed by the Speaker.

In a fresh question, Couva South MP Rudranath Indarsingh asked if Trincity Mall has been sold, saying the State has control over it.

Rowley said the mall was not under the Government’s control, but rather that of the liquidator of CL Financial. He said the mall has not been advertised for sale nor sold, accusing the Opposition of making “pure mischief.”