Health and Safety concerns at state-owned Petrotrin left an international crude oil tanker moored off the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery for ten days and cost the company as much as US$24,000 a day.
The tanker, Overseas Redwood, carrying crude as feedstock for the local refinery was unable to berth as HSE (Health, Safety and the Environment) red flags shut down Petrotrin’s number six berth, the company’s largest and the only area capable of docking the large liner.
Experts pegged the cost of the delay at over $1.5 million plus additional losses as the company was unable to access the feedstock crude on board the liner. Petrotrin, in a response to an e-mail from the Sunday Guardian, confirmed the ship presence and its inability to dock when it arrived on April 20.
“In light of the urgency presented by the concerns raised by the employees, the company sought the intervention of the OSH Agency to ensure that the berth was safe for carrying out the necessary operations,” Gillian Friday, Petrotrin’s communication manager said on Wednesday. “On April 29, 2014, the OSH Inspector officially gave Petrotrin clearance to proceed with berthing of the vessel at number six berth,” she added.
She said because of the contractual arrangements, Petrotrin was in fact liable for the delays incurred but could not give any further details. The Sunday Guardian requested a redacted copy of the contract—which would not contain any of the financial arrangements between the company and contractor—as most contracts do not hold the company liable for force majeure incidences.
“In this scenario, Petrotrin is contractually liable for delays. We are unable to provide any specific details relative to the contract as we are bound by confidentiality obligations. We are therefore unable to provide a copy of the contract (redacted or otherwise),” Friday said.
Friday said in addition to the equity crude produced by the local operations, Petrotrin does import feedstock crude for the refinery saying that the ship remained moored for an extended period because of “some concerns raised by employees and supported by their union representatives delayed the berthing of the vessel.”
Despite the unforeseen hiccup that led to the delay and the losses, Friday said “scheduled upgrade work and periodic inspections have been taking place on number six berth” since January 2014.