Trinidad and Tobago returns to market searching for refinery buyer

Trinidad and Tobago will return to the open market to seek a buyer for its oil refinery that ceased operations two years ago after rejecting a proposal from a local group, Finance minister Colm Imbert said.

Imbert said Patriotic Energies, a subsidiary of a trade union which represents oil workers, could not provide any credible offer of financing for the Petrotrin oil refinery. The government decided to “return to the open market to see if there is anybody else interested in the plant…and explore all options for the utilization of the refinery”, he said.

The government shut down the state-run Petrotrin and ceased operations two years ago at its only refinery, which then had the capacity to process about 140,000 barrels per day of crude, to curtail losses of over $1 billion in the previous five years.

The government said Petrotrin required a cash injection of $4 billion to remain in operation, upgrade its infrastructure and repay the nearly $2 billion in debt it had racked up. (Reporting by Linda Hutchinson-Jafar Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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