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World GTL plant put up for sale

By Keino Swamber South Bureau

THE troubled World GTL Trinidad Ltd plant on Petrotrin's Pointe-a-Pierre refinery compound—touted as the first gas-to-liquids plant in the Western Hemisphere—has been put up for sale.

Notice of the sale was posted in a newspaper advertisement yesterday.

In 2005, World GTL Inc, an American energy company, and State-owned Petrotrin entered into a project agreement to build a gas-to-liquids plant within Petrotrin's refinery at Pointe-a-Pierre.

The plant was supposed to have come on stream by the end of 2008.

The deal went sour when World GTL accused Petrotrin of wrongfully expropriating its funds, which led to a $12 billion lawsuit against Petrotrin in a US court in February last year.

In response, Petrotrin moved for an order staying the lawsuit and compelling World GTL to arbitrate any claims they believed they had against Petrotrin.

The order was granted on August 11 by US District Judge Lawrence McKenna.

Petrotrin alleged that World GTL breached its contractual obligations by defaulting on a loan payment.

The company was placed in the hands of local receiver Brian Hackett of PricewaterhouseCoopers Ltd.

The advertisement for sale stated that the plant is now in its completion phase with significant construction completed and is being sold with all its other related assets on an "as is where is" basis, with the purchaser being responsible for the payment of all outstanding rates and taxes.

The purchaser will also be required to obtain certification from the Ministry of Energy.

Attempts yesterday to reach Energy Minister Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan for comment were unsuccessful.

Seepersad-Bachan, speaking in the Senate in November last year, said Petrotrin became heavily encumbered under the People's National Movement government.

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