PETROTRIN PROCUREMENT – IT GETS WORSE
PNM’s Secret Deals
Instead of just walking around trying to incite racial discord for weeks, what the Prime Minister should be explaining are the secret deals and sudden impulses coming out of his cabinet.
He should be explaining the secret deals he has signed in Venezuela, in Guyana and with Sandals.
He should be explaining what the real plan is for Petrotrin and the 5,000 workers going on the breadline.
He should let us know who they have signed a secret deal with to import gas, now that they are shutting down the Petrotrin refinery.
Take note how they do business. In the middle of the ferry tale saga, they let things get so bad that a Cabinet committee, without any tendering process, they just ‘ups’ and buy a ferry.
A ferry, which they now claim is to operate out of a port in Toco, that is still in the planning stages. So they buy the boat even before the sod was turned for the port!
And they claim it is because they had to rush… because they needed it quickly. Millions spent – your taxpayers’ dollars – no process, because of their own incompetence.
Now, I ask, are they doing the same thing once again?
The Minister says we only have 20 days of fuel.
You know why he is saying that?
He is saying that to send people into a panic, so that they can get an excuse to sign a deal to import fuels without process?
Take careful note of what the Energy Minister has said:
“When the operations are terminated, there will be a 20-day supply of fuel for the local market. Our first shipment of imported products will be coming in on October 17, that will supplement. And as we phase out the local supply there would be a continuous flow of imported products”.
The Minister said this during his contribution to the Budget debate last Friday.
He stated clearly that there will be a shipment of imported products on October 17 to supplement the supply of fuel for the local market.
But so many questions arise from the Minister’s announcement:
- Who is supplying this fuel?
- How much fuel will they provide?
- Is this a one off or long-term arrangement?
- What is the cost of the fuel?
- Was there a competitive tender process for this supply?
- If it is a long-term arrangement have we protected ourselves from the expected rise in fuel prices?
Who do they already have in their back pocket?? Where is it coming from? Are there tankers already waiting out there because you’ve already made deals?
We will call on the Minister to answer these questions in Parliament.
I want to tell you, any deal like this one – for fuel to supply our nation’s needs – has long-term implications. It is the kind of deal that will turn their friends and family into billionaires.
I call on the media to ask the Prime Minister: who is the agent that is going to supply them with gas… how much is the contract worth and how long it the contract for?
I want to know what the agent’s fee is, how much are they making on this deal and what are the terms of the contract?
And I want to warn the media… Do not accept any foolish response about it being a ‘board decision’ and to direct those questions to the board.
That is a copout and a deflection the Prime Minister loves to make… He is the Prime Minister, and the buck stops with him.
He must either make himself available and answer the questions; or make way for a UNC government to make things happen.
The Prime Minister must explain himself…and he must be held accountable to the people.
He should be explaining what are his plans to remove some of the hardships he and his government have put on citizens in the last few years, since he can no longer say that they have no money.
On Friday last I listened carefully to the Minister of Energy trying to provide the country with assurances about the supply of fuel to citizens and that no one should worry.
I want tell this country tonight that while the Minister was speaking I had in my hands emails dated 5th October 2018 from Petrotrin, the same day that the Minister was telling you when the shipment would come, where Petrotrin was saying that it had not yet evaluated the bids for the supply of fuels. Let me repeat -that they have not yet evaluated the bids!
And this is what the email stated, remember this is the same day that the Minister telling you when the first shipment arriving,
Subsequent to the issue of the RFP for the supply of Products to Petrotrin (attached), there are three parties which have made it to the final round for consideration and final negotiations. The three potential suppliers are BP North America Petroleum, a Division of BP Products North America Inc, Trafigura PTE Ltd and Castleton Commodities International, LLC.
So, Petrotrin still negotiating for the supply of fuel, no buyer chosen as yet, no sale confirmed as yet, but the Minister of Energy could tell the country the date that the fuel arriving.
You see what this means is while Petrotrin is still evaluating the bids that have been submitted pursuant to a Request for Proposals issued by Petrotrin, fuel already on the water to arrive in Trinidad by the 17th October 2018.
The process that ought to be followed is that after the bids are evaluated Petrotrin would negotiate with the supplier for the best price because we not buying one shipment of fuel.
An agreement has to be drawn up and approved by the legal department and that agreement has to then get the approval of the Board.
I want the Minister to smile and tell us when these things were done and who were responsible for compliance with the settled company policy.
This is a scandal of immense proportions. Petrotrin still evaluating bids but the minister already know when the ship arriving. Who are they trying to fool?
Tonight I want to ask the Minister of Energy a few questions,
- What was the procurement process used to send out invitations for Request for Proposals?
- Who evaluated the bids for the supply of fuels to Petrotrin?
- What was the process used to evaluate the bids that were received by Petrotrin?
- When was the order placed for the supply of fuels to Petrotrin?
- What was the price paid and who negotiated the price with the supplier?
While thousands of people in this country are wondering how they will feed their children next month, how they will pay their bills, how they will pay their loans, how they will look after their mother and father and their children, how they will pay their mortgages this government is smiling because they know their business fix.
The Attorney General has a famous saying that this government will follow the money but I did not realize what he really meant. They truly following where the money is? They following the money at the expense of the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
I want to tell this government that when we take back the reins of government, we will be finding where the money gone and who get paid what and they will have to pay back every cent to the people of Trinidad and Tobago.