Calling for a national debate on Petrotrin’s closure, Congress of the People leader Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan yesterday predicted that millions of dollars will have to be paid in damages to Samsung Engineering and Construction if the Petrotrin refinery is closed.
Speaking at a meeting in Penal with Petrotrin workers, Seepersad-Bachan said Samsung Engineering and Construction has already counter-sued Petrotrin over the incomplete construction of the US$260 million Ultra Low Sulphur diesel plant.
Saying the plant is 90 per cent complete and would have increased the refinery’s profit margin by $US$6 per barrel, Seepersad-Bachan said once the refinery is closed, arbitrary proceedings will come to an end.
“We will lose our counterclaim and Samsung has a claim against Petrotrin, so if we lose and Samsung wins their claim, millions of dollars will be going out in damages. Who is going to pick up that cost? Has the company instructed its lawyers to settle this matter and pay damages?” Seepersad-Bachan said.
She called on Government to do a socio-economic impact analysis on the refinery’s closure before taking a decision to shut it down.
Calling on workers to join the struggle and prevent the closure of the refinery, Seepersad-Bachan said, “We need to have a proper debate on this issue. Let us unite and stand up for what is right and what is ours. Let us not sell out the patrimony of our country.”
She also called on Government to reveal the contents of a report done by external consultants McKinsey, who was hired to review the restructuring of Petrotrin.
“Let the country see the details of this report. Why is it shrouded in secrecy?” she asked.