THE TT Automotive Dealers Association (TTADA) is calling for an independent investigation into the quality of fuel being sold to the driving public.
This is in spite of a denial by Communications Minister Stuart Young days ago that the fuel being sold at service stations is of an inferior quality.
TTADA head Visham Babwah said he has been receiving numerous complaints from drivers and dealers about the quality of fuel supplied by the National Petroleum Company (NP) now that state-owned Petrotrin has stopped refining petroleum and will now be a distributor.
Babwah said yesterday,he has received numerous complaints about the fuel quality from drivers who have sensors in their cars that detect faults in the fuel.
Babwah said TTADA was further upset when during a CNC3 news report on Monday night, Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat said in an interview the only fuel supply the government could guarantee to drivers was CNG.
“This is nothing short of extortion and blackmail on the part of the government to force nationals to pay to convert to get fuel from a state-controlled monopoly,” said Babwah.
“Government ministers think they can hoodwink the population by saying nothing is wrong with the fuel when you have taxi drivers and other citizens who can attest that the fuel is now burning much faster and is not of the same grade.”
He said the government should have told the population they would have problems sourcing and importing fuel before shutting down the refinery.
Petrotrin will cease to exist in its present form by November 30 and will no longer refine and distribute products for local and foreign consumers.
It will be replaced by Trinidad Petroleum Holding Company, which has been established to oversee the state’s oil sector through four subsidiaries: Petrotrin, the Heritage Petroleum Ltd, Paria Fuel Trading and Guaracara Refining.
Petrotrin received its first batch of imported fuel last week, but before this there was talk that the fuel at the pumps was inferior and was burning off a lot faster.