Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Petrotrin must address costs to survive*

Wilfred Espinet

NEW Petrotrin chairman Wilfred Espinet says the company needs to be reinvented and its cost structure needs to be addressed.
But in an exclusive interview with Express Business at his courier company in East Port of Spain, the business owner stopped short of advocating the privatisation of the company, arguing what is needed is the appropriate governance structure, greater accountability and no meddling by governments in its operations.
“My real concern is that Petrotrin does not end up to be a Caroni Ltd,” said Espinet, referring to the now operationally defunct state-owned sugar producer and refiner that was closed down in 2003 after losing billions of dollars.
“If the intention is for Petrotrin to survive—as distinct from leaving it as is and letting it collapse—then it must do so in the context of how enterprises survive: they must have an income that is greater than its expenses and the surplus must be invested to maintain the business,” said Espinet, adding “The cost structure of Petrotrin has to be dealt with in the short term. And each line item has to be dealt with.”  But he would not be drawn on if addressing the Petrotrin’s cost structure meant reducing compensation or downsizing the company’s staff complement.

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