Petrotrin's Board has been replaced...PM makes announcementhttp://www.trinidadexpress.com/20170901 ... n-replaced
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced today that State owned Petrotrin will be restructured.
He also said a new board will be installed to spearhead this exercise.
He shared some of the issues plaguing Petrotrin which has rendered it in a woeful financial state with a US$850 million debt due in 2019 which it cannot pay and on of that its infrastructure is outdated and poses a safety risk.
Rowley was speaking at the VIP lounge of the Piarco International airport at 6.30 a.m. today before departing the country for a vacation in the United States. Finance Minister Colm Imbert is the acting Prime Minister.
He said on Wednesday Cabinet took a decision to install a new board with a mandate to make the company sustainable, work towards profitability and restructure it in the best interest of the national community taking into account all the competing interests and challenges.
The new board will include Wilfred Espinet, Reynold Ajodha-Singh, Nigel Edwards, Anthony Chan Tack, Eustace Nances, Joel Harding, Linda Rajpaul, Ranvir Rampersad and permanent secretary Selwyn Lashley.
He said these nine people who were "carefully selected" come from both private and public sector and are very experienced in their various endeavour of business.
Some, he said, have "deep" experience on Petrotrin itself and they are all highly qualified.
"We are hoping that within a period of two to three years we can turn around the arrangements at Petrotrin so that company can get out of or at least be on a path towards making a contribution of its promise," he said.
Rowley said in doing this, Government acknowledges the challenges elsewhere in the national community especially in the Finance Ministry where there is "dire situations" in some other State enterprises.
He made reference to WASA and T&TEC.
He said WASA's payment to its supplier of desalinated water put it in a financial situation which realises the concerns they had when the company entered into the process of desalination as a means of supplying water to the country.
He said T&ETC owes the National Gas Company (NGC) billions of dollars and cannot pay at this point in time and if not paid will leave the NGC with a bottom line that could "reflect itself in the red,".
With respect to Petrotrin he reminded that a committee was established to look into the company's affairs and a report was submitted to the Cabinet which was further examined by a Cabinet sub committee on energy which he chairs and comprises a large body of persons from the energy sector.
"On Wednesday a decision was taken to begin the process of restructuring Petrotrin by converting Petrotrin in the shortest possible time from being a ward of the State to a company that not only conducts a stable business but conducts business as profitable and will continue to contribute profits to other benefits of national improvement," said Rowley.
He said this requires certain resolutions, robust examination and a certain amount of acceptance as the situation is "very serious"
He explained that Petrotrin has incurred significant liabilities in the form of "huge debts" which the Government cannot now discharge.
The Prime Minister said one of these debts is due in 2019 and the Finance Minister cannot be undertaking activities to repay US$850 million in one single payment.
He disclosed that a payment of a similar nature leans just beyond this debt.
Rowley said Finance Minister Colm Imbert is "struggling" to pay other expenses in his Ministry.
He noted the company has been suffering numerous challenges as its oil production has been falling considerably.
He added that its infrastructure is "very worrisome" as it is outdated and could see significant problems arising with safety.
Rowley said there is also question on its sustainability of meeting its contractual agreements as the Finance Minister is having to provide money to Petrotrin to buy oil and refine and lose money on that process.
He said these serious matters, if not addressed definitively threaten the very foundation of the country.
He said this could lead to the "downgrading of the country as a whole" and impact on the country's ability to borrow and the cost of borrowing etc.