Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 19th 2014 Contents A8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, March 19, 2014
6.1000 6.2802 6.4686
5.4234 5.7088 6.0228
9.9111 10.4327 11.9960
8.3014 8.7383 9.2189
****** 0.0620 0.0657
2.1175 2.3016 2.4627
* 2.5751 ****** 3.2802
for MARCH 18th 2014
There s no intention or plan by Gov-
ernment to privatise state-owned oil
and gas company Petrotrin.
That s the word from Energy Minister
Kevin Ramnarine striking down claims
by the Oilfields Workers Trade Union
(OWTU) that Government "planned to
In a statement to the Senate, Tower
D, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain, yes-
terday, Ramnarine said: "A serious and
damaging allegation has been made by
the OWTU. I wish to categorically state,
Government has absolutely no intention
and no plan to privatise Petrotrin.
"Allegations that Government intends
to privatise Petrotrin are baseless and
mischievous. Such statements and
rumours can be seen to be deliberately
constructed to undermine the Govern-
ment and destabilise T&T."
The minister said a strategic plan for
2014-2018 focused on returning
Petrotrin to profitability by 2015 by tar-
getting oil production increase. He said
a ten per cent oil production increase
could almost double profit.
"These increases are expected from
the SWS Development project, the
Jubilee Field, opportunities from the
Land and Trinmar 3D Seismic, EOR
projects and the Field Rejuvenation
Project (FRP)," he added.
The FRP which was publicly adver-
tised was not privatisation, he said.
"It s a model that has worked with
great success in Colombia where it
boosted production of Ecopetrol.
Petrotrin has been in discussion with
Ecopetrol in seeking to understand the
strategies employed by that company
in effecting its remarkable turnaround.
The FRP doesn t mean loss of reserves
or loss of equity for Petrotrin," he added.
Ramnarine said the company has
been involved in the lease/farm-out
arrangement since 1989 and that was
not privatisation either.
At the same time, he noted challenges
Petrotrin faced from the US shale gas
thrust and others created during the
PNM administration s term. He cited,
for example, the Gas Optimisation Pro-
gramme which began at $2.2 billion
and snowballed to $9.6 billion.
"The cost escalation that was
premised on an ill-fated cost reim-
bursable procurement strategy at the
heart of which was questionable con-
tracts awarded to Bechtel and its local
partner ABT, a company based in Point-
a-Pierre. There are also serious conflict
of interest as it relates to Bechtel and
ABT," he added.
Ramnarine said against Petrotrin s
challenging backdrop, allegations of pri-
vatisation could have a corrosive impact
on confidence in the energy sector.
A total of 57 flood victims
received cheques of $10,000 each
yesterday at their MP Prakash
Ramadhar s St Augustine Con-
stituency office, Pasea Road,
Minister of the People and Social
Development Dr Glenn Ramad-
harsingh who addressed the flood
victims, said his Ministry would
ensure all those who were needy
and vulnerable would be able to
get on their feet.
He said the grant for natural
disaster was raised from $7,500 to
$15,000. However, these recipients
were given a one-time payment
"We are here to give some sup-
port for their loss of furniture and
appliances and ensure there is no
double receipt. In the past few
years we saw an increase in natural
disasters. No one can predict when
they occur," he said.
Ramadharsingh said there was
heavy flooding in the east/west
corridor between August and Sep-
tember last year.
He said there were other grants
available to assist ,such as the
Rental Grant and the Sowing,
Empowerment through Entrepre-
neurial Development grant that
has been raised from $5,000 to
"We are not encouraging sup-
plication but empowerment. Peo-
ple can also receive skill and
retraining after receiving assistance
from the state," he said.
Ramadhar said the constituency
office has been working in collab-
oration with the Ministry of Works
to stop the flooding that occurred
every year in the area.
Former president Arthur NR
Robinson continues to be in a stable
condition at the St Clair Medical
Hospital, sources said yesterday.
Robinson, 87, has been warded at
the hospital since last week Thursday
after complaining of feeling unwell.
After treatment over the weekend
he was said to have improved by
Monday. Yesterday sources said he
was a "little better."
WASA customers in northeast
Trinidad, served by the Hollis Reser-
voir, will have their supply disrupted
tomorrow from 8 pm to 4 am and on
This is necessary to install inter-
connections to the new Hollis Trunk
In a release, WASA apologised for
the inconvenience and thanked cus-
tomers for their patience and under-
57 flood victims receive $10,000
plan to privatise
Robinson a 'little better'
in east Trinidad
Minister of Social Development and the People Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh, left, front, presents flood victim
Lalla Dass with a relief cheque as Legal Affairs Minister Prakash Ramadhar, centre back, and other recipients
look on during yesterday's cheque-distribution ceremony at the St Augustine constituency office, Pasea
Road, Tunapuna. PHOTO: MICHEAL BRUCE
Alexis was yesterday
granted $25,000 bail on
three charges, including
assaulting a police offi-
cer.He appeared before
Chaguanas Third Court
He was arrested after
police went to execute
eviction notices at a
property off the Uriah
Butler Highway near
The charges include
assaulting Sgt Thomp-
son, obstructing a police
officer in the execution
of his duties and tres-
Prosecutor Sgt Ken Ali
asked for conditions to
be attached to his bail,
and the magistrate
ordered Alexis to stay
500 feet away from the
disputed property and to
report to the Chaguanas
Police Station on
He has to re-appear on
Cocorite Road from
Broadway to Henri Rd.
O'Meara Road from the
Priority Bus Route to Nu
Town of Arima from
King Street to Cleaver
Road ,including Lynton
Gardens and Cleaver
Malabar Phase II.
La Resource North.
Bon Air Gardens.
Bon Air West.
'Robocop' charged for assaulting cop
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