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Trinidad: PM challenges OWTU on Petrotrin

THE Prime Minister last night said the Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU) will be given the first option to buy the Petrotrin refinery, which he described as non-viable, as the company shifts its focus to the extraction and export of crude oil.

In a televised address to the nation, Dr Rowley spoke about last week’s announcement from Petrotrin chairman Wilfred Espinet about the refinery’s intended closure, with the loss of 1700 jobs in refining plus the loss of 900 jobs in exploration and production (where staffing will fall from 1700 to 800 workers, according to Rowley.)

“The refining assets of Petrotrin can now be put in a separate company for opportunity attention. “The OWTU will be given the first option to own and operate it on the most favourable terms.” Otherwise he alleged the union had declined his invitation to meet in September 2017, to sit on the new/current board of Petrotrin and attend a Spotlight on the Energy Sector forum.

“Our Pointe- a-Pierre refinery is 101 years old and has reached the end of its commercially viable days. It is now at a stage where it is haemorrhaging cash, and the cost of rehabilitating it is way more than its potential to ever be profitable, competitive or sustainable.”

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