How is it that a company like Petrotrin, earning $2 billion a month, needs a “lifeline of urgency” as Finance Minister Colm Imbert claims?
That’s the query from the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union yesterday, following Imbert’s declaration during a media briefing on Monday.
Speaking after the Industrial Court ruled in the OWTU’s favour on its application to halt termination of Petrotrin workers on Monday, Imbert had said bankers now see Petrotrin as very risky and have made an attempt to get a “Government guarantee” of $1.2 billion within seven days to cover debt the company owes.
But the OWTU said yesterday Imbert was trying to scare the public and discredit Petrotrin with misinformation.
The union asked, “Why does Petrotrin require a ‘lifeline’ of urgency when the company earns approximately $2 billion monthly? Management accounts prepared by the company at August 31st, 2018 stated Petrotrin had an inventory of crude oil and refined products of over $2.3 billion.
“The same management accounts stated the company was in possession of cash and cash equivalents of $875 million. What was the income generated in September 2018? Was it in keeping with usual averages of approximately $2 billion? What was the allocation of the income? So how is it possible that a company that earns approximately $2 billion monthly is in desperate need of a ‘lifeline?’”
The OWTU added, “Is the Minister misleading the public with his seeming ‘surprise’ that Petrotrin requires a Government guarantee to allow it to refinance its debt instruments of approximately $1.2 billion when this was disclosed to the public during his Budget statement seven days earlier?
“Are Petrotrin’s creditors demanding Government guarantees to secure financing facilities because of Government and board statements that they intend to end Petrotrin’s existence?”
- by Gail Alexander