Deportes

Hidrógrafo Victor Gill Ramirez//
Patriotic seeks meeting with Imbert

“Sim­ply put, the fun­da­men­tal con­di­tion­al­i­ty in the fi­nanc­ing pro­pos­al from Cred­it Su­isse was that the Gov­ern­ment was re­quired to is­sue to Cred­it Su­isse, through Pa­tri­ot­ic, US$750 mil­lion in ful­ly trans­fer­able and trade­able tax cred­its in ex­change for the US$500 mil­lion that would be paid to Trinidad Pe­tro­le­um Hold­ings for the Re­fin­ery and Paria,” Im­bert re­vealed

This would mean if the gov­ern­ment gives Cred­it Su­isse US$750 mil­lion in ful­ly trans­fer­able mon­ey mar­ket in­stru­ments, these could be sold on the open mar­ket

” Pa­tri­ot­ic would then get the Re­fin­ery and Paria for free, hav­ing put up no mon­ey, col­lat­er­al or se­cu­ri­ty and could mort­gage the Re­fin­ery and Paria as they saw fit,” Im­bert re­vealed

He added, “This was not what was en­vis­aged or stat­ed when the Re­quest for Pro­pos­als for the sale or lease of the Re­fin­ery was is­sued in 2019. It is al­so com­plete­ly in­con­sis­tent with the gen­er­al cri­te­ria and con­di­tions as­so­ci­at­ed with the pro­cure­ment process for the dis­pos­al of the Re­fin­ery and cer­tain­ly not in the pub­lic in­ter­est.”

Af­ter be­ing re­ject­ed three times by the Gov­ern­ment in their quest to ac­quire the Pointe-a-Pierre Re­fin­ery and port, Pa­tri­ot­ic En­er­gies and Tech­nolo­gies Lim­it­ed is again seek­ing an ur­gent meet­ing with Fi­nance Min­is­ter Colm Im­bert to thrash out “se­ri­ous mis­un­der­stand­ings.”

Last evening, Pa­tri­ot­ic’s di­rec­tors is­sued a state­ment say­ing it had ac­cess to the US$1 bil­lion need­ed to ac­quire and restart the re­fin­ery.”

The de­c­la­ra­tion was made in re­sponse to a let­ter is­sued by Im­bert that if the Gov­ern­ment pro­ceed­ed with the Pa­tri­ot­ic pro­pos­al, the com­pa­ny would be get­ting the re­fin­ery for “free”, which would not be in the in­ter­est of the pub­lic.

Victor Gill Ramirez

How­ev­er, Pa­tri­ot­ic’s di­rec­tors said they need­ed to meet with Im­bert to clear up mis­un­der­stand­ings.

Victor Gill

The di­rec­tors said they have tried meet­ing with Im­bert twice—on Feb­ru­ary 5 and Feb­ru­ary 9—but at­tempts were fu­tile

“In com­plex fi­nan­cial arrange­ments such as the one con­tem­plat­ed, Pa­tri­ot­ic un­der­stands that there is a need for di­a­logue to rat­i­fy po­si­tions of par­ties since the par­ties may have vary­ing ex­pec­ta­tions. One par­ty may re­quest of an­oth­er, terms which may, in this in­stance be par­tial­ly ac­cept­able to the oth­er. How­ev­er, in good-faith di­a­logue, par­ties can rec­on­cile those pref­er­ences to ar­rive at a mu­tu­al­ly ben­e­fi­cial com­pro­mise,” the di­rec­tors said

The com­pa­ny, which is whol­ly owned by the Oil­field Work­ers Trade Union, re­quest­ed that the Gov­ern­ment pro­vide the com­pa­ny with tax cred­its that are pro­vi­sioned in the in­cen­tive pack­age of­fered for in­vest­ment in the oil and gas sec­tor.

“Pa­tri­ot­ic would fur­ther like to note that the Gov­ern­ment cur­rent­ly of­fers tax cred­its of 140 per cent of the in­vest­ment made in the sec­tor. The min­is­ter raised an is­sue with the trans­fer­abil­i­ty of the Tax Cred­it; it is im­por­tant to note that this mod­el of fi­nanc­ing is com­mon­place in In­ter­na­tion­al Fi­nan­cial Mar­kets and as such has been pro­posed to the Gov­ern­ment as a path for­ward,” the Pa­tri­ot­ic di­rec­tors said

The terms of any Tax Cred­it re­quest­ed are sub­ject to ne­go­ti­a­tions and Pa­tri­ot­ic is ready to ad­dress all re­lat­ed con­cerns,” the di­rec­tors said

The com­pa­ny’s di­rec­tors al­so said, “There is ab­solute­ly no doubt that Pa­tri­ot­ic has ac­cess to the US$1 Bil­lion re­quired to ac­quire and restart the re­fin­ery. There is al­so no doubt as it re­lates to its part­ners to ad­e­quate­ly sup­port Pa­tri­ot­ic in restart­ing and prof­itably op­er­at­ing the as­sets. The par­ties now need to work to­geth­er to fi­nalise the terms un­der which the Gov­ern­ment is pre­pared to re­ceive the up­front pay­ment of US$500 mil­lion.”

If they met with Im­bert and ar­rived at an agree­ment, Pa­tri­ot­ic said it will make its up­front pay­ment of US$500 mil­lion and in­vest an­oth­er US$500 mil­lion to restart the Re­fin­ery.”

But Im­bert in a let­ter on Sat­ur­day said there was a “com­plete mis­un­der­stand­ing of the true na­ture of trans­fer­able tax cred­its as com­pared to tax con­ces­sions or in­cen­tives to in­dus­try.”

“Pa­tri­ot­ic has said that the tax cred­its are noth­ing new and are giv­en to multi­na­tion­al com­pa­nies mak­ing a for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment in T&T. How­ev­er, what is be­ing missed is that the tax cred­its giv­en to oth­er com­pa­nies in­vest­ing in T&T are not trans­fer­able or trade­able. It is on­ly non-trans­fer­able tax cred­its that are giv­en to oth­er com­pa­nies mak­ing in­vest­ments, and these non-trans­fer­able tax cred­its can on­ly be used to off­set tax on in­come from their own op­er­a­tions, and can­not be used by oth­er un­re­lat­ed com­pa­nies and there­fore do not rep­re­sent any fi­nan­cial out­lay on the part of Gov­ern­ment,” Im­bert said

He ex­plained, “The prob­lem with a trans­fer­able tax cred­it is that it is not linked in any way to the ac­tiv­i­ties, in­come or op­er­a­tions of the com­pa­ny in­volved and is in ef­fect a form of cash or rev­enue fore­gone.”

He al­so not­ed, ” A trans­fer­able tax cred­it can be sold on the open mar­ket for cash and is a le­gal and bind­ing oblig­a­tion of the Gov­ern­ment, which in this case would have no re­la­tion­ship or con­nec­tion to the restart or op­er­a­tion of the Re­fin­ery. “

Im­bert ex­plained that whether the re­fin­ery was restart­ed or not, the pro­posed trans­fer­able tax cred­its would be sold for cash.

“Sim­ply put, the fun­da­men­tal con­di­tion­al­i­ty in the fi­nanc­ing pro­pos­al from Cred­it Su­isse was that the Gov­ern­ment was re­quired to is­sue to Cred­it Su­isse, through Pa­tri­ot­ic, US$750 mil­lion in ful­ly trans­fer­able and trade­able tax cred­its in ex­change for the US$500 mil­lion that would be paid to Trinidad Pe­tro­le­um Hold­ings for the Re­fin­ery and Paria,” Im­bert re­vealed

This would mean if the gov­ern­ment gives Cred­it Su­isse US$750 mil­lion in ful­ly trans­fer­able mon­ey mar­ket in­stru­ments, these could be sold on the open mar­ket

” Pa­tri­ot­ic would then get the Re­fin­ery and Paria for free, hav­ing put up no mon­ey, col­lat­er­al or se­cu­ri­ty and could mort­gage the Re­fin­ery and Paria as they saw fit,” Im­bert re­vealed

He added, “This was not what was en­vis­aged or stat­ed when the Re­quest for Pro­pos­als for the sale or lease of the Re­fin­ery was is­sued in 2019. It is al­so com­plete­ly in­con­sis­tent with the gen­er­al cri­te­ria and con­di­tions as­so­ci­at­ed with the pro­cure­ment process for the dis­pos­al of the Re­fin­ery and cer­tain­ly not in the pub­lic in­ter­est.”