UNC gov’t will reopen refinery, Kamla promises
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley responds to UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar's election promise to reopen the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery at the launch of the PNM's 2020 election campaign.
United National Congress (UNC) leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has promised that she will reopen the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery and rebuild Point Lisas.
This, as she said a UNC government will “rescue” the energy sector and get the country working again.
Persad-Bissessar said the energy sector, once thriving, has been reduced to a frightening reality of closures, job losses and depressed oil and gas production.
“So I grew up knowing that our energy sector was a sacred part of our history, politics, society and economic stability. Now, sadly, it is in serious danger of being absolutely destroyed under the failed, incompetent, catastrophic Rowley Government.”
Accusing the Dr Keith Rowley-led administration of mismanaging the energy sector and “deliberately” wrecked the livelihoods of thousands of families in South Trinidad.
She said it was for this reason that the PNM “must truly NEVER see the corridors of Government again”.
The UNC leader promised that a UNC government will restore jobs in the energy sector for fence line communities by reopening the refinery, supporting the redevelopment of the surrounding fence-line communities, revitalising Point Lisas and working with private investors to re-establish an iron and steel industry at Point Lisas.
Persad-Bissessar said this will provide jobs, foreign exchange and downstream industries to communities in Central and South Trinidad.
Further, she said, if elected to government the UNC will, in its first 90 days in office will increase T&T’s global competitiveness by remodeling the fiscal regime to meet the reality of a low-priced commodity environment.
The UNC leader said a key element will be the complete reform of the SPT regime and the royalty rates, which is expected to unleash investment in new oil and gas projects and reverse the slide in oil production.
In response to Persad-Bissessar’s promise to reopen the refinery, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley at the launch of the PNM’s election campaign over the weekend labelled it as “political gobbledygook and chupid talk.”
He reminded the country that the State-owned company was straddled with $6 billion in losses.
He said while it may sound good on a political platform to say that Petrotrin was closed, the steps taken by Government in the restructuring exercise were necessary.
Dr Rowley said the country could have been in a worse off situation financially in its COVID-19 response if Government had not treated with Petrotrin urgently. As a result, the “main money loser”, the refinery, was closed.