PM: Victory for T&T in GTL arbitration

By Anna Ramdass

Petrotrin has scored a major victory with the International Court of Arbitration ruling that the State company take majority control of the $2.7 billion Gas to Liquids (GTL) plant, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced last night.

Speaking at a UNC meeting at Tulsa Trace Hindu School, Persad-Bissessar noted that the former PNM government invested billions in the GTL project, which resulted in a forensic audit being conducted and the Attorney General taking legal action against the former board.

The matter, the PM said, was referred to the International Court of Arbitration.

"That project cost Petrotrin over $2.7 billion and to date they have nothing to show but a plant that may well be sold as scrap metal."

Petrotrin, she said, yesterday received a copy of a final award issued by the tribunal in an arbitration commenced by Petrotrin against World GTL Inc. and World GTL of St Lucia Ltd (together "WGTL") in the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce.

The tribunal, she said, declared that WGTL breached its obligations under a Guarantee Contribution Agreement between Petrotrin and WGTL and ordered WGTL to transfer 9,398,211 common shares of WGTL Trinidad to Petrotrin.

Persad-Bissessar said the tribunal also ordered WGTL to transfer additional common shares of WGTL Trinidad to Petrotrin as compensation for accrued interest and further ordered WGTL to pay the majority of Petrotrin's legal fees and expenses in the arbitration.

Persad-Bissessar said in the final award, the tribunal declared that WGTL breached its obligations under the Gurantee Contribution Agreement by failing to transfer shares of WGTL Trinidad to Petrotrin upon the second anniversary of the date on which each Over-contribution Advance was made.

The final award also ordered WGTL to specifically perform its obligation to transfer 9,398,211 shares of WGTL Trinidad to Petrotrin.

This transfer, said the Prime Minister, will bring Petrotrin's shareholding in WGTL Trinidad to more than 95 per cent.

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