Petrotrin and CEC Clearance by EMA
As the Petrotrin saga unfolds this government is exposed as the most dishonest, manipulative and devious group of people that has ruled our country. They are not to be trusted. You cannot believe anything they say because they will say and do anything to get their way.
Tonight I want to address the Petrotrin issue and I want to show you why you must not, cannot and should not believe anything this government says.
On the 28th August this year just over a month ago the Chairman of Petrotrin, Wilfred Espinet announced to the country the plans of the government and the Board in relation to Petrotrin and he said two important things on that date.
He said and I quote,
“Let me tell you the reason THAT IT IS BEING SHUT DOWN, it is because it is not economical to run it.
He then went on to say when asked if the refinery was being sold he replied,
“DEFINITELY NOT! DEFINITELY NOT. There is no plan to sell it don’t even think of it being sold.
That was on the 28th August. Five (5) days later the Prime Minister in addressing the nation was telling the country,
“The refining assets of Petrotrin can now be put in a separate company for opportunity attention. The OWTU will be given the first option to own and operate it on the most favourable terms.
So five (5) days before the Prime Minister spoke, the Chairman of Petrotrin said that there were no plans to sell the refinery, five (5) days later the OWTU is being given the first option to own it.
This is an administration that duped this country into voting for them. They ran an election campaign on lies, falsehoods and fabrication and you must not allow them to fool you.
I tell you, you cannot believe a word they say.
When the Prime Minister spoke to the country on the 2nd September 2018 he said in his first few words that he was speaking to the country on the closure of the Petortrin refinery.
At the end of his speech he said to the country,
I want to give you the assurance that the same resolve that it took us to make the decision to close the refinery is the same strength of character which will see this government put your anxiety ahead of any other consideration.
In the budget speech delivered just last week the Minister of Finance stated,
“we have decided to close the refinery”
Later on in his speech the Minister said,
“closing the refinery is the only commercially-sound and viable option.
I have been carefully following this issue with the closure of the refinery at Point-a-Pierre and it is clear to me that the head does not know what the foot is doing, the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing and the citizens of this country are being kept in the dark about everything that is going on at Petrotrin.
I wrote to the Chairman of the Environmental Management Authority last week and asked the Chairman:
“As a matter of urgency that you provide me with the following information:-
- The date upon which the Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago applied for a Certificate of Environmental Clearance for permission to undertake works for the closure and/or decommissioning of the Point-a-Pierre refinery.
- The date upon which this application was considered by the Authority.
- Whether a Certificate of Environmental Clearance was granted and if so the date upon which the certificate granted.
I did so because Section 35 of the Environmental Management Act states,
No person shall proceed with any activity which the Minister has designated as requiring a certificate unless such person applies for and obtains a Certificate from the Authority.
By virtue of Certificate of Environmental Clearance (Designated Activities) Order and more particularly activity 28 which states,
|Establishment of infrastructure for crude oil refining||The establishment, modification, expansion, decommissioning or abandonment (inclusive of associated works) of crude oil refinery.|
It is clear that no action in law could be taken by Petrotrin towards the closure of the refinery, the decommissioning of the refinery or any associated works without the grant of a Certificate of Environmental Clearance from the Authority.
Do you know as soon as I asked the question and raised the issue of the requirement that the Refinery cannot be closed without a Certificate of Environmental Clearance, all of a sudden the Refinery not closing any more.