Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 25th 2014 Contents A15
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Hugh Howard, president of the
American Chamber of Commerce
of T&T (AmCham T&T), wants offi-
cials of state-owned Petrotrin to say
how the company s profit margins
will be affected by sourcing crude
oil from Russia and Colombia.
He raised the issue following
reports that the company s crude oil
supplies will no longer be coming
from Gabon in West Africa.
"I do not know if purchasing crude
oil from Gabon is more favourable
than buying from Russia or Colombia.
In other words, will T&T be process-
ing crude oil with more costly inputs?
If this is so then there is the possibility
that Petrotrin s profit margins could
be reduced or erased. Whatever the
case is, Petrotrin would have to tell
us," he told the T&T Guardian yes-
terday by phone.
Earlier this week, Bloomberg quot-
ed Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine
as saying he had halted oil purchases
from Gabon which had been T&T s
only African supplier of crude oil for
the past 20 months.
This followed the refusal by
Petrotrin workers, represented by the
Oilfields Workers Trade Union
(OWTU), to offload the MV Overseas
Yellowstone which arrived from
Gabon last week with half a billion
dollars worth of oil.
The vessel eventually docked and
was offloaded late Tuesday using out-
sourced tugs and labour.
This resulted in losses for state-
owned Petrotrin, which was forced
to reduce throughput to the refinery
from 110,000 barrels per day (bpd)
to 80,000 bpd because it could not
immediately get the 750,000 barrels
from on board the tanker. The com-
pany had said without the supply of
crude it could have been forced to
shut down operations at the refinery
which can take as much as two weeks
Gabon is not among the west
African countries from where people
have been banned from entering T&T
due to an outbreak of Ebola.
Howard said importing crude oil
from Russia and Colombia is nothing
new, but the concern is whether the
relevant authorities are now "con-
centrating on getting crude oil from
these countries in light of the Ebola
virus." He said T&T is starting to
panic and this is not justified.
"There was no evidence that there
was anyone with that virus on the
vessel. Ebola is not airborne and so
cannot be transmitted by air. To get
it there must be direct contact with
the infected person," he said.
Howard said the focus for T&T
should be on building a modern and
efficient health care system that can
deal not only with Ebola and other
The American Chamber of Commerce of
T&T (AmchamTT) has teamed up with the
Young American Business Trust (YABT) for
a five-day workshop on sustainable green
enterprises. The workshop, Business Lab
Training of Trainer on Green Enterprises, is
aimed at facilitating business development
for entrepreneurs and is set to take place
from Monday to Friday at the Centre for
Enterprise Development, Cariri, Freeport.
The main goal is to create an adaptable
training programme for local facilitators
who will be able to produce entrepreneurial
training processes, become acquainted and
replicate the main elements of the
innovative Israeli Business-lab Model.
Moreover, they will further develop co-
operation effectively within the Youth-In
YABT network, in order to enhance the
small business start-up in the Caribbean.
Participants will work with experts
provided by the Golda Meir Mount Carmel
International Training Centre (MCTC) and
will be guided in business modelling and
planning, marketing and branding.
Members of the Israeli team include
Sharon Gesthalter a brand strategist and
experienced lecturer on branding as a
business tool and Mosh Hael, an
entrepreneur, mentor and personal trainer
Figaro during a
press conference to
launch a new
polymer $50 bill,
could not say how
much money would
be saved printing
the five million $50
bills, but promised
details at the
December 13 launch
of the new
was no sample of
what the bill would
look like either.
PHOTO: JEFF MAYERS
Green business incubator begins Monday
AmchamTT president to Petrotrin:
Give cost of new crude oil supplies
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