OWTU president general Ancel Roget

Patriotic Energies and Technologies final bid for the Guaracara refinery is ready and according to the company, it’s in a format which has covered the relevant aspects which Government had requested.

This was confirmed to Guardian Media yesterday as the deadline for the presentation of the bid looms on Friday.

The company has now written to Minister of Finance Colm Imbert seeking a meeting with him as soon as possible to present the proposal to him.

It will be the third try for Patriotic whose initial bid for the refinery was “blanked” last year even though it had been the preferred bidder for the refinery.

The company, owned by the Oilfield Workers Trade Union, was given another chance after it requested to have its proposal reviewed by Government’s Evaluation team.

That second proposal also received a thumbs down two weeks ago from Imbert and Energy Minister Franklin Khan.

The Ministers said Government was not satisfied that Patriotic had the US$500 million proposed purchase price cash for the refinery and couldn’t provide evidence of their ability to pay. They said all that Patriotic was able to produce at that time was a letter from RBC saying they were interested in assisting Patriotic.

Both said Patriotic, “gave no guarantee of providing funding, no commitment to providing funding, no timeframe or no terms and it ” was not a suitable offer.” They said Government had decided to return to the open market to find another bidder.

However a day and a subsequent Cabinet decision after, it was announced by Imbert’s ministry that Patriotic would be given a third chance.

Patriotric was informed that as the preferred bidder for the asset the first item in the list of deliverables for its purchase was “confirmation of its ability to finance the purchase and operation of the refinery”.

A letter from Patriotic to Corporation Sole dated January 18, 2021, stated, inter alia, that “In our conversations with Credit Suisse, they have expressed great enthusiasm and confidence of their capacity to successfully finance the acquisition price of US$500 Million for Patriotic.”

As a result, Imbert was directed by Cabinet to write to Patriotic to inform them that Cabinet met and decided that Patriotic will be given a further 15 days – up to Friday, February 5 – to produce from Credit Suisse a firm, binding commitment to finance for Patriotic the acquisition price, for the refinery assets of US$500 million.

Guardian Media was told that last week, it was ascertained that the company had obtained the “necessary assurances to move the purchase forward.”