In February 2014, then-Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley, in a public address, paid tribute to Malcolm Jones for his “yeoman’s services to the development of Trinidad and Tobago.”
Rowley did so even while Jones was subject of the WGTL legal suit.
Rowley had slammed the WGTL project in a searing address to the House of Representatives on September 14, 2009, shortly after he was fired from Patrick Manning’s Cabinet.
He said the original construction budget of $850 million, which rose to $1.3 m, as a result of “incomplete engineering at the start, omissions, technical issues, and additional testing and project delays.”
Construction of the ultra low sulphur plant had also shot up, he indicated, from $708 million, to $2.4 billion.
Cost of the construction building zoomed from $192 m to $427m, according to figures provided by Rowley.
Upgrade of the fuel catalyst unit was at $2.1 billion, he said, although he gave no original cost.
And then there was the CCR Platforming Unit, whose cost skyrocketed from $665m to $1.592 b.
As for the alkylisation plant, the bill climbed from $586 m to $1.8 b.
Rowley queried the cost overruns and whether the country could afford it.
He tabulated all the costs and declared: “We have to digest that now in the context of ‘de money gone’.
“We are now talking about raising revenue by taxation ‘chirrup chirrup’, household by household, land and building taxes, cigarette and rum taxes,” he added.