UNC Member of Parliament for Pointe-a-Pierre David Lee is expressing alarm at the revelations that Trinidad Petroleum Holdings, the company set up in the aftermath of the closure of the Petrotrin refinery, is set to borrow up to US$1.4 billion, mostly from international banks.
According to a report from Reuters news agency , Trinidad Petroleum Holdings intends to use funds borrowed from Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Panamanian trade bank Banco LatinoAmericano de Comercio Exterior (Bladex), First Citizens Bank and Ansa Merchants Bank , to cover the US$850 million bullet bond payment in August.
“It is beyond outrageous that the only way the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago found out about these loans was via a foreign news service” said Lee. “Meanwhile, we still haven’t heard anything from Trinidad Petroleum Holdings, nor the Minister of Energy on the matter.”
“This is indicative of the culture of incompetence and secrecy that pervades everything this government does,” the UNC Shadow Minister of Energy said. “It is simply unacceptable”.
Lee also reminded the public that in 2017, Petrotrin had a plan to refinance its debt with the help of First Citizens Bank but this offer was never considered or executed by the current administration.
The UNC has always maintained that nothing would change with the closure of Petrotrin. The only thing that has changed is that over 9000 workers and their families have had their lives torn apart due to the closure of Petrotrin.”
The MP says the Opposition and the rest of the country now awaits the response from credit ratings agencies, and the impact that this will have on the country’s international reputation.