Questions raised after the government sells Petrotrin to OWTU

The Progressive Empowerment Party under Phillip Edward Alexander has lambasted the governments’ sale of the Petrotrin oil refinery to the Oil Field Workers Trade Union (OWTU) calling it the greatest criminal act ever perpetrated in the country.

In a press release, the PEP asked two main questions about the sale of the refinery.

  1. “Who gave this government the authority to sell such an important national asset without consultation?”
  2. “Who is the source of the funds behind this OWTU ‘buy out?’”

The PEP also claimed that “everything surrounding this government’s handling of the people’s oil company from day one has reeked of nepotism, corruption and graft.”

“From the discontinuance of the Malcolm Jones lawsuit to the appointment of Rowley’s AV OIL defense lawyer to chair the very company AV OIL stands accused of defrauding and including everything else that has occurred since this government put its grimy hands on the people’s asset.”

Stated the press release.

The OWTU won bid for the refinery with a $4.7 billion offer (US$700 million). The announcement was made by finance minister Colm Imbert yesterday. The name of the OWTU owned company is Patriotic Energies and Technologies Co Ltd.

The second bidder was US company Beowulf which is located in Switzerland. Beowulf offered to lease the refinery for $285 million (US$42 million) per month over a 15-year term.

Kamla makes a statement

Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar also made four statements about the sale of the refinery to the OWTU.

  1. “The Minister needs to explain how a company incorporated on December 4th 2018, just about 10 months ago, would be able to provide finance and expertise to secure a multibillion-dollar industrial asset.
  2. The Minister must explain the Cabinet’s decision to sell the refinery without undertaking any due diligence on the preferred bidder.
  3. We also call upon the Minister of Finance to state urgently any and all foreign partners associated with the preferred company.
  4. The Government must explain under what circumstances they have taken a decision to give away a multibillion-dollar asset, without the payment of a single dollar to a company that is less than one year old.”