Guyana affected by T&T's Petrotrin closure, in search for new fuel supplier
Petroleumworld 09 11 2018
There is deep worry about the financial impact that closure of the cash-strapped Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (Petrotrin) refinery will have on fuel supply and prices in Guyana.
Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge told reporters yesterday that the fallout from the closure of Petrotrin's Pointe-a-Pierre refinery was discussed last week at the ninth Meeting of the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) in Barbados.
According to Greenidge, the Prime-Ministerial committee examined available options.
“They have asked the relevant experts of Ministers to explore the matter urgently and to provide advice. That is where it was on Thursday,” Greenidge stated.
Fuel could be sourced from outside the CARICOM region, in which case, Greenidge expects that there will be no delay arising from the requirement for CARICOM's Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) to waive the Common External Tariff (CET) on such imports.
“The Ministers agreed that in the circumstances the common external tariffs have to be waived in the circumstances that we understood at the time,” Greenidge stated.
He disclosed that other sources will be explored among other regional sources such as Jamaica and Antigua and Barbuda, where fuel is stored.
“Guyana of course has special constraints, because storage capacities are relatively limited,” Greenidge stated. He said a sense of urgency surrounds the action to be taken and the advice to be provided.
Guyana has been depending largely on Trinidad and Tobago to meet its oil needs after the PetroCaribe deal with Venezuela ended in 2015. That agreement, which allowed Guyana to delay payments for up to 20 years, saw the country shipping rice in exchange.
The state-run Petrotrin plans to halt refining operations next month due to soaring losses. Estimates suggest that 2,600 permanent jobs will be affected, including 1,700 in the facility.
Petrotrin requires a cash injection of nearly $4 billion to remain in operation, upgrade its infrastructure and repay its debt, which has risen close to $2 billion.
Former Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister and current Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar had suggested that Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley look toward pursuing a partnership with Guyana to refine its oil as a means of averting the closure of the Petrotrin's Pointe-a-Pierre refinery.
The Trinidad Guardian reported that Dr. Rowley has ruled out that suggestion, saying that Guyana has no intention of bringing its oil to shore for any refining operations.
Story from Kaieteur News
kaieteurnewsonline.com 09 11 2018
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