Government grants Patriotic additional days to secure financing for oil refinery:Trinidad

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BROOKLYN, NY – The Government has given the company Patriotic Energies and Technologies a second extension to prove its ability to purchase the Pointe-a-Pierre oil refinery.

In a statement late Wednesday, the Government acceded to a request from the company to rethink Monday’s Cabinet decision to seek another partner for the restart of the refinery. 

In his capacity as a corporation sole, Finance Minister Colm Imbert said the government had granted Patriotic a 15-day deadline to secure financing for the refinery.

Imbert’s announcement on Tuesday that Cabinet had withdrawn from the offer alluded to an inability by Patriotic to secure the US$500 million financial commitment to purchase the refinery – a claim the company has denied.

 “The corporation sole wishes to inform the public of the following Cabinet decision concerning the Petrotrin refinery acquisition.

“By letter dated September 25, 2019, Patriotic was informed that it was the preferred bidder for certain assets of Guaracara Refining Co Ltd (Guaracara) and Paria Fuel Trading Co Ltd, (Paria).”

He said the first item in the list of deliverables referred to in that letter was “confirmation of its ability to finance the purchase and operation of the refinery.”

In response, Patriotic has vowed to do all it can this time around to convince the government it is indeed the best fit for the task at hand.

Patriotic in a letter to Imbert, dated January 18, insisted it had the backing of Swiss investment bank Credit Suisse to finance the acquisition price of US$500 million.

On Tuesday, Patristics’ chairman, and president-general of its parent company, the Oilfield Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU), Ancel Roget, called on the Prime Minister to consider information regarding the backing of Credit Suisse, which the Government may not have been privy to before Cabinet took its decision.

But a director of Patriotic Ozzi Warwick said, “We did make a request, and they have acceded to our request for further discussions.”

Warwick said, as the company has done in the past, it intends to meet every stipulation outlined, including the February 5 deadline, and to, this time, sway the government to give them the rights to own and operate the refinery.

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