IT is not Patriotic Energies and Technologies’ fault that there has been a delay in the negotiations for the purchase of the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery.
Patriotic says it has to determine the value of the refinery and the nature of the repairs that are required before it can purchase the former Petrotrin facility.
So said Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) president general Ancel Roget who responded yesterday to statements made by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
The OWTU is the owner of Patriotic Energies and Technologies.
Roget suggested that the Prime Minister was not correct when he said Patriotic Energies and Technologies had requested additional information on the refinery.
Roget said it would be instructive to go back to the January 15 news release from the Ministry of Energy which had been issued following a meeting between the ministry’s team and Patriotic’s team.
That news release stated among other things “that the ministry was pleased to report that it was a very productive meeting with the main objective being the re-start of the refinery. The next steps are the establishment of dedicated teams on both sides to achieve this mandate as well as a detailed inspection of the assets in transaction,” Roget said.
“You cannot expect to purchase an asset without first having a thorough inspection to determine two things: 1) the nature of the repairs to be conducted on the asset; 2) the current value of the asset, given the fact that that asset was taken out of service over one year ago,” he added.
‘Not our fault
Roget said: “Our...engineers are ready to conduct such an inspection. We are ready three weeks ago so it is not our fault that this is a delay. And so next week’s exercise would see us commencing such a process.
“It is all part of the due diligence process, going forward. You cannot expect to shut down your car for over one year and then have somebody buy it, without an inspection of that vehicle to determine its road worthiness. That is madness.
“And therefore it is all part of the due diligence process. And when that is completed and the refinery is re-started, Trinidad and Tobago is going to benefit enormously,” he said.
The Prime Minister had stated Patriotic had indicated it would like to see the actual refinery in greater detail.
He said as a result of that request, several subject matter experts were now preparing the additional information that Patriotic had asked for.
He acknowledged that there was “an element of delay” but noted that Government could not go faster than Patriotic in this exercise.
He said since Patriotic had asked for additional information, that had to be part of the process.