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The Trinidad and Tobago Government is negotiating with US-based Quanten for the sale of the idled Pointe-a-Pierre refinery, reported Reuters, citing Trinidad and Tobago Energy Minister Stuart Young.

The move comes more than a year after a local group’s proposal to buy the facility was rejected by the government.

The Pointe-a-Pierre refinery was closed in 2018 due to losses of more than $1bn in the previous five years. The closure affected 2,600 permanent jobs, including 1,700 direct jobs.

At the time of the closure, the facility had a processing capacity of approximately 140,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude.

Young said in a statement: “Quanten LLC is an American company that is engaged in the [request for proposal] process for the refinery”.

The request for proposal process for the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery is being carried out by state-owned Trinidad Petroleum (TPHL), which was established as part of the reorganisation of the Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago (Petrotrin). 

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Young noted: “The company is engaged with TPHL and has to go through the standard and required processes in these types of matters.”

The Pointe-a-Pierre refinery, which is owned by TPHL subsidiary Guaracara Refining, is currently in preservation mode. It is under an active asset integrity programme to enable it to restart.

Said to be configured for regional crudes with access to domestic and regional product markets, the refinery is equipped to have a capacity of 175,000bpd.

In 2021, the Trinidad and Tobago Government determined that Patriotic Energies, a subsidiary of a trade union that represents oil workers, failed to offer credible financing for the Petrotrin refinery.