December 12, 2022 [Jamaica Observer] – PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – The Trinidad and Tobago government says discussions with the American company, Quanten LLC regarding the sale of the oil refinery that was closed in 2018 due to billions of dollars (One TT dollar=US$0.16 cents) in losses have been terminated.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley told Parliament on Friday that by a public open international request for proposals, the state-owned Trinidad Petroleum Holdings Ltd. (TPHL) and its advisors had “identified an initial preferred proposal from Quanten LLC who they engaged in due diligence and discussions.
“This process has recently concluded on December 5, 2022 (and) TPHL on the advice of their international advisors terminated all discussions with Quanten LLC,” Rowley said, adding that “there have been a number of entities who have expressed an interest in exploring the re-start of the refinery and TPHL will continue assess these expressions of interest and we are also exploring whether there is any regional interest”.
Rowley told the Parliament that the state-owned company is also exploring all its options, reiterating “I said that TPHL will continue to assess and when that assessment is done…but the door is still open for interested parties to talk to TPHL or we may very well go back out again.
“Going back out does not guarantee that you will find someone, we are always available, so the door is open”.
During his response to opposition questions on the matter, Rowley insisted that there was no deadline given regarding the sale of the refinery in south Trinidad.
“As of the fifth of December, that is correct because the process did not deliver a useable, workable arrangement and that was probably terminated,” Rowley said, adding that he wanted to clarify the situation so that the opposition would not be confused regarding the sale of the refinery.
“When the refinery was shut down, it was not shut down with an intention to open it on a particular date, It was the government of Trinidad and Tobago coming out of the refinery business and we did say very clearly then that if there is anyone else who may have an interest in the refinery as it was closed and we are out of the business, such an entity will be entertained for discussions.”
Rowley said that the impression being given by the opposition that there was a specific date regarding the sale of the 175,000-barresl per day Pointe-a-Pierre refinery “is purely misleading.
“In Trinidad and Tobago, the owner of the refinery, has gone out of the business and if we are lucky to find someone interested and has oil to refine, then we all will be happy”.
The government in 2021 said Patriotic Energies, a subsidiary of the Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU) here failed to offer credible financing for the refinery.
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