Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 27th 2014 Contents A report published on Tuesday on Page A18
incorrectly stated that Cable and Wireless, the
company currently seeking to acquire Columbus
International for US $3 billion, had worked with a
British government spy agency.
In fact, the company split in March 2010, with
its international division demerging to form
Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC).
The remainder of the Cable and Wireless
business, which became Cable and Wireless
Worldwide and was acquired by Vodafone in
2012, is in fact the entity referred to in the
We apologise for the error.
GET IT RIGHT
Members of Hillview College pose with the 2014 Secondary School Mediation Debate challenge trophy after collecting it at the prize-
giving ceremony hosted by the Mediation Board of T&T at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. In picture, from left, are Alana
Ramlal, Ismaeel Mohammed, Jeron O'Brien, Ishtar Redman, principal Leslie Mahase and Dimitri Pollard. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
Petrotrin president Khalid Hassanali also
addressed the topic of "ageing infrastructure,"
previously mentioned by him, Energy Minister
Kevin Ramnarine and Petrotrin chairman Lindsay
Gillette in the wake of the December 2013 oil
spills and their relapses in 2014. He said it would
take $8 billion "to upgrade all our current assets.
"All these issues have served to put a significant
strain on the company's net income. The net loss
for last fiscal 2013/2014 was $346 million," he
This contrasts with the $106.7 million total
comprehensive income for the year ended Sep-
tember 30, 2013; $421.8 million for the same period
in 2012; and $2.7 billion in 2011.
He said: "Due to the company's unfavourable
financial position, our current wage offer is zero
per cent for each year of the period under nego-
tiation (from 2011 to 2014, or 2012 to 2015 depend-
ing on the agreement).
"Even with the proposed zero per cent increase,
employees would have enjoyed an adjustment to
their salaries through Cost of Living Allowance
(Cola) payments, ranging from 11 to 19 per cent,
depending on where the job was pegged on the
salary scale, with an average increase of 15 per
cent during the period.
"This has cost the company approximately $226
million. Petrotrin continues to pay its employees
a very competitive compensation package that is
superior to the vast majority of workers in the
"Let us all continue to rally together to achieve
our targets and ensure Petrotrin's long-term via-
bility, to secure our future, Petrotrin's future and
the future of our nation."
In a press release yesterday, Petrotrin accused
the union of refusing to recognise the company's
financial constraints in the ongoing negotiations.
Noting loses incurred, falling oil prices and the
fact that the company would have to implement
cost-cutting measures in future, Petrotrin said
entertaining the union's proposal could threaten
the viability of its operations.
Workers at State-owned
Petroleum Company of T&T
Ltd (Petrotrin) will not be get-
ting a pay hike or backpay any
time soon as the company has
suffered a $346 million net
loss for fiscal 2013/2014.
The bad news was delivered
to the workers by Petrotrin
president Khalid Hassanali in
a circular on Tuesday.
He said: "During the last fis-
cal year, 2013/2014, Petrotrin
has battled a perfect storm of
challenges, including global and
local developments and events,
which has severely hindered
our profitability and reputation.
"We now battle the turbulent
waters of low refinery margins
and the harsh winds of falling
global oil prices, all of which
have significantly compounded
the company's difficult financial
situation over the last few
International benchmark oil
prices have fallen by almost 30
per cent since June 2014 and
most analysts project prices
under US$75 a barrel, he said in
"We are faced with depressed
refinery margins as they con-
tinue to be under pressure due
to global oversupply of refinery
capacity," he said.
In a bullet in the circular, Has-
sanali added: "Recent financial
rating downgrade led to an
increased cost of borrowing. In
order to mitigate this situation,
we have reduced our operating
expenses as well as capital proj-
ects and costs."
He explained: "Refinery cost
structure and debt service bur-
den require a gross refinery mar-
gin of US$9 per barrel (bbl);
however, our actual market driv-
en gross refining margins were
US$6.67/bbl in 2013 and
US$6.38/bbl in 2014; currently
Also part of Petrotrin's current
reality is "high debt service bur-
den, inclusive of high annual
Hassanali said Petrotrin pays
annual interest of $850 million
and a balloon payment of
US$850 million will become due
in 2019. Petrotrin pays bond-
holders a 9.75 per cent coupon
on the bonds maturing in 2019.
Though Hassanali did not
mention it in his circular,
Petrotrin also has a 6.0 per cent
coupon bond, maturing in
2022, when it will have to pay
US$500 million. Of six T&T
bonds Oppenheimer analysts
reviewed on November 3, they
said Petrotrin's 2019 bond had
the highest current yield at 7.7
Khalid sees no quick end to Petrotrin losses...
Storm of challenges
OWTU, WORKERS MEET TODAY
Oilfields Workers' Trade
Union (OWTU) president
general Ancel Roget will hold
a meeting with Petrotrin
workers today to decide on
the union's next course of
action in the ongoing salary
dispute with the company.
Contacted for comment
last night on Petrotrin
president Khalid Hassanali's
claim that the company
would not be able to increase
salaries or pay backpay after
incurring a 346 million loss in
the last fiscal year, Roget said
that and the negotiation
process would be the main
topic at the meeting.
Pressed further, Roget said
he would not divulge the
union's next course of action
until after they got the
workers' views today.
Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Thursday, November 27, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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