President of the Point Lisas Industrial Port Development Corporation Ltd (Plipdeco) Ashley Taylor said there was never any signal from ArcelorMittal that the steel plant was facing challenges and was planning to pull out of T&T.
He told the T&T Guardian that officials of the company, owner and landlord of the 860-hectare Point Lisas Industrial Estate were the steel plant is located, only knew "what was already in the public domain with respect to the temporary closure and laying off of workers."
The industrial estate, located on the west coast of central Trinidad, houses more than 103 tenants comprising methanol, ammonia and urea plants, three steel plants, a power plant, and smaller light manufacturing and service companies.
Asked about how much revenue Plipdeco stands to lose with the closure of ArcelorMittal, Taylor said he was "unable to provide that information at this time." He explained, however, that the effect on operations would be dictated by how direct loss of jobs would affect companies doing business with the industrial estate such as T&tec and Wasa, as well as companies that depend on products manufactured by the steel pant.
"If ArcelorMittal ultimately pulls out, Plipdeco, as landlords of the industrial estate, will eventually seek to identify a replacement tenant or tenants," Taylor said.
He said no representations have yet been made to Government concerning a new tenant for the industrial estate.
The steel plant, originally established as the state-owned Iron and Steel Company of T&T (Iscott), has been operating at Point Lisas since 1980. The company was sold to Indian steel magnate's Lakshmi Mittal's Ispat International in 1989 and became known as Caribbean Ispat. The other name change came in 2006 with the acquisition of Western European steel maker Arcelor by Mittal Steel.