Patriotic denies Moonilal’s claim that refinery secretly sold

UNC Oropouche East candidate Dr Roodal Moonilal. -
UNC Oropouche East candidate Dr Roodal Moonilal. -

United National Congress (UNC) Oropouche East candidate Dr Roodal Moonilal is claiming that government has secretly sold the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery to Patriotic Energies and Technologies Co Ltd.

At a cottage meeting at Soledad Road in the constituency of Pointe-a-Pierre on Wednesday night, Moonilal said the deal was sealed “surreptitiously.”

However, one of Patriotic’s directors Ozzi Warwick has denied that any arrangement has been finalised.

Warwick told the Newsday on Thursday morning there is nothing surreptitious about the deal as it is public knowledge that Patriotic, which is fully owned by the Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU), announced last week at a news conference it was called to discuss the sale with government.

Warwick said those discussions are still taking place.

In his address in support of his colleague David Lee who is seeking to return as MP for Pointe-a-Pierre, Moonilal said the Prime Minister “secretly and in a clandestine and surreptitious manner signed a deal to give away the refinery because the people who taking the refinery not paying at all.”

He sought to explain the impracticality of such an arrangement.

“All you ever gone to the bank and tell them you need to buy a house, ‘we have the money you know, but I want the loan. Give me the money and let me just buy this house and I will start paying back seven years from now.’ That is the deal they want to put down. Nobody pays for the refinery.

“Keith Rowley, I tell you tonight, keep your paws off the refinery. The refinery belongs to the people of TT. Do not put it in private hands before you demit office.”

Moonilal said there were links between people involved in Patriotic and Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro, and accused the government of wanting to sell the refinery, “so it will end up in Maduro’s hands. That is what they want to do.”

Warwick said that suggestion is most far fetched.

Moonilal called on Dr Rowley to say “if he has already signed away the refinery without the public being informed of such a deal.”

After the closure of Petrotrin and the invitation to bid for the restart of the refinery, Patriotic secured the bid and has been in negotiations with government since.

Earlier this month, Rowley said he was ready to sign off on the arrangement and discussions related to asset acquisition began last week.

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