Former Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar is urging the current government in the twin-island republic to pursue a partnership with neighbouring Guyana to refine its oil in order to avert the closure of the Petrotrin refinery.
According to a report in Newsday, Ms Persad-Bissessar who is currently Opposition Leader said she hopes Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley would consider this option ahead of an address to the nation scheduled for Sunday evening.
“I understand Guyana has found another well and they are producing, can we not group in some way and find a way to work together as a Caricom (sic) where we can help them refine their oil?” she asked.
Newsday further quoted the former Prime Minister as saying, in reference to the closure of the refinery, “I am calling on him [Dr Keith Rowley] to let good sense prevail to be very cautious in making such a drastic and dangerous move, this will have a ripple effect throughout the economy and the country.”
According to Newsday, Ms Persad-Bissessar said even if Guyana moves to build its own refinery in the future, the Petrotrin facility can still be used in the initial years of oil production in the South American country, which is set to begin by 2020.
“Of course they will build their own refinery but we have one and many of the units in the refinery at Petrotrin are new, so a lot of money has been invested on the refinery side and now they are shutting it down. It is total nonsense,” she reportedly said.
Guyana has not made a final decision yet as to where its oil will be refined. The country’s Minister of Finance recently said on a webinar that the prospect of building a local refinery is not an immediate concern of government.
Mr Jordan said a number of refineries located in the Caribbean, and throughout the region, including Trinidad and Tobago’s Petrotrin, remain options which are being examined by the administration and a decision is yet to be made on the way forward.