Watch what you say about the decision to select Patriotic Energies and Technologies Ltd (PETCL) as the preferred bidder for the sale of Petrotrin’s refinery.
That’s the warning issued to citizens by Minister of Energy Franklin Khan.
Khan yesterday called on citizens to be circumspect in their comments about Cabinet’s decision to select PETCL, which is wholly owned by the Oilfield Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU), as the preferred bidder for the US$700 million sale of the refinery.
Khan made the comments as he yesterday delivered the feature address at the official opening of the NP El Socorro Service Station and QuikShoppe Plus.
He said the refinery became unsustainable and was saddled with a debt to the tune of almost $13 billion.
“US$850 of which had to be paid off in cash by August of this year. It became an unsustainable business as it was presently structured,” Khan said.
As such the Government took the “bold step” to restructure Petrotrin, he said.
“We mothballed the refinery for a short period put it out for an international bid and you know what is happening now,” he said.
He said Patriotic was selected after a proper process.
“I just want to go on record to reiterate the government’s position, it was an international call for request for proposals, it was evaluated by a multidisciplinary high-level team, it boiled down to three companies with binding bids and Patriotic through a transparent process has been determined to be the preferred bidder,” Khan said.
“We did not give away anything, we didn’t favour anybody. And all the naysayers want to find out how they raising the money, where they getting this, where they getting that. I just want to caution the public it is a process let us take our time, we have moved now into the realm of high-level international financing and these loose statements in the general public is a detriment to the process,” he said.
“So I don’t want to say more on that it is a process that is ongoing but you cannot as patriotic citizens of Trinidad try to stymy the process, they have been declared the preferred bidder, the refinery has not been given to them, it is a process now that will continue in the next four to six weeks where the firm detailed proposal will be finalised and I say no more on that and I urge the population to say not much as they process continues because it is to everybody’s benefit that the refinery restarts,” he said.