‘Going forward debt free’

FINANCE Minister Colm Imbert said yesterday the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery is “going forward debt free” and is in line for further tax incentives.

This adds to the 13-year deferment of the full settlement of the US$700 million consideration for the refinery that Patriotic Energies and Technologies Company will receive if the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union-owned entity successfully firms up its preferred bidder status.

On Friday, addressing Parliament, Imbert said the Cabinet had agreed to grant Patriotic a three-year moratorium on all payments of interest and principal, and a further ten years to complete the payment on the US$700 million it offered for the refinery.

Speaking at a news conference at his office in Port of Spain yester­day, Imbert said two reasons Petrotrin was unprofitable were it was burdened by the equivalent of US$1.9 billion in mostly foreign debt and it suffered from “extremely high ope­rating costs”.

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