Rowley says Petrotrin not closing …”SO WHAT IS FOR SALE?”

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Last week, the Petrotrin chairman, Wilfred Espinet, said Petrotrin was not for sale. In his address to the nation on Sunday night, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said the refinery was up for sale with the OWTU getting the first option to buy and operate.

Now on Tuesday night, Rowley said Petrotrin was not for sale.

So what is for sale?

He as­sured the country that his Gov­ern­ment was not clos­ing down Petrotrin, al­though it does in­tend to shut down its re­fin­ery op­er­a­tions. He said with the com­pa­ny con­tin­u­ous­ly los­ing and due to pay up on a US$850 mil­lion debt in months, Gov­ern­ment had no choice but to act on the slide now.

Rowley added, “The Gov­ern­ment is not clos­ing down Petrotrin. The Gov­ern­ment of Trinidad and To­ba­go is not clos­ing down Petrotrin.

“We un­der­stand very clear­ly the reper­cus­sions of the ac­tion that we have tak­en, that we need very lit­tle en­cour­age­ment and very lit­tle ad­vice as to our re­spon­si­bil­i­ty to the peo­ple of the south­land for whom that re­fin­ery was their bread and but­ter and their chil­dren’s fu­ture.”

Rowley told his supporters in Marabella that a day of reck­on­ing al­ways comes and the PNM was not afraid to re­struc­ture Petrotrin to re­turn to earn­ing rev­enue.

He al­so pledged to of­fer Petrotrin work­ers stocks in the re­struc­tured com­pa­ny, say­ing this would give them a chance to make ex­tra earn­ings.

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DR KEITH ROWLEY

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