Give refinery to Patriotic for Xmas


David Abdulah, political leader of the Movement for Social Justice, at the party’s San Fernando office

MOVEMENT for Social Justice (MSJ) leader David Abdulah on Sunday appealed to the Prime Minister to give the country an early Christmas present by giving the green light for Patriotic Energies and Technologies Co Ltd to take control of the former Petrotrin refinery and port at Pointe-a-Pierre.

At a news conference at the party’s office in San Fernando, Abdulah said, “I am saying today to Dr Rowley just a few days away from Christmas Day, don’t be a scrooge. Don’t try to cut off the country’s nose to save somebody’s face.”

He recalled that Rowley originally said a decision on Patriotic’s bid to acquire the refinery and port should be made at the end of October, Energy Minister Franklin Khan later said Patriotic’s proposal failed to meet certain criteria and an evaluation committee was subsequently formed in November to look at the proposal again.

Abdulah argued that enough time had passed for Government to make a decision on this matter. He opined the only decision which makes sense in this matter is, “for Patriotic to be given the ownership and control of the refinery and the port operations at Pointe-a-Pierre.”

Abdulah said Patriotic – which is owned by the Oilfield Workers Trade Union – has already indicated it has sourced US$500 million to undertake the necessary upgrades at the refinery and port to get them operational again. While the restart of the refinery could take nine months to a year, Abdulah said it will provide some hope and light to TT as it would stimulate employment in certain sectors of the economy.

He also said it could help TT with some of its foreign exchange challenges which Abdulah said Finance Minister Colm Imbert highlighted at a news conference last Friday and which he (Imbert) added could get more difficult.

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