Patriotic Energies and Technologies Co. Ltd took another step toward acquiring the Guaracara Refining Company and the Paria Fuel Trading Company on Monday when it presented its response to requirements given by the evaluation committee overseeing the sale.
In a release yesterday, Patriotic's owner the Oilfields Workers' Trade Union (OWTU) said the entire Patriotic team/consortium met with the committee and delivered on all the requirements, thus meeting its deadline.
"In this regard, the union now awaits a response from the evaluation committee on or before the end of the month. The OWTU is confident that its company, Patriotic, stands ready to move to the next stage of fully completing the acquisition process in a timely manner for the benefit of all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago," the union said.
Patriotic hopes to begin an overhaul of the oil assets before the year ends so that operations can begin in early 2020.
The acquisition follows Government's closure of Petrotrin in November 2018 and termination of 4700 staff. This was followed by protest and legal action by the OWTU. When all failed, the union incorporated Patriotic to bid for the Pointe-a-Pierre Refinery, storage, processing and port facilities.
On September 20, Finance Minister Colm Imbert announced in Parliament that Patriotic was the preferred bidder, beating off its international competitors.
Two weeks ago, former UNC senators Wayne Sturge and Gerald Ramdeen applied an injunction to stop the sale of the refinery, pending the outcome of a judicial review. The lawsuit was filed to determine whether the chairman of the Joint Select Committee on Energy Colm Imbert had acted improperly by not convening a meeting where the sale of the State's asset could be scrutinised. However, the application was withdrawn when Imbert scheduled a meeting. However, the court is still being asked to review Imbert's conduct.