President Genral of the OWTU Ancel Roget leads members of his team out of the office of the principal of UWI, St Augustine Campus after negotiations, yesterday.

Patriotic Energies and Technologies Company Ltd did not request any additional information from the Ministry of Energy.

In fact, the head of Patriotic, union leader Ancel Roget said that the company was ready to proceed three weeks ago and any delay was not their fault.

Roget further rubbished statements made to the contrary by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.

During a Parliamentary session on Wednesday, Rowley was asked about the progress on the refinery take-over and claimed then that the negotiations were delayed because Patriotic requested more information.

“It is not correct to say that Patriotic is now requesting additional information. That simply is not correct,” Roget said.

Rowley said that the Government could not go at a faster pace than Patriotic wanted.

Roget said that too is not true.

“Our inspection engineers are ready to conduct such an inspection, we were ready three weeks ago. So it is not our fault for the delay,” Roget said in an audio statement yesterday.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said that the negotiations to take over the refinery were delayed because the company requested additional information. However, Roget said there is no truth to that claim.

Patriotic last met with members of the Ministry of Energy on the take over of the refinery on January 15. After that meeting, the Ministry issued a statement describing the meeting as productive.

In that media release, the Ministry acknowledged that the next steps included a detailed inspection of the assets in the transaction.

“It would be instructive though to go back to the media release on January 15 following a meeting between the Ministry team and the Patriotic team,” Roget said.

“You cannot expect to purchase an asset without first having a thorough inspection of that asset, given the fact that that asset was taken out of service over one year ago,” Roget said.

“Next week’s exercise would see us commencing such a process, its all part of the due diligence going forward. You cannot expect to shut down your car for a year and then have someone buy it without having an inspection of its roadworthiness going forward,” Roget said.

“That’s madness,” he added.

Patriotic is wholly-owned by the Oilfields Workers Trade Union (OWTU).

The company put forward a US $700 million bid to take over the refinery and was selected last September.

The refinery was mothballed back in November 2018.