Wed | Jan 16, 2019

Wheatley to hold talks with Venezuela on Petrojam share buy-back

Published:Saturday | February 24, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr Andrew Wheatley (left) listens attentively to International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA) Chair and Chief Science Adviser to the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Professor Peter Gluckman, on the first day of a two-day INGSA Caribbean capacity-building workshop at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Tuesday.

Minister of Science, Technology and Energy Andrew Wheatley has said that he would hold talks with his Venezuelan counterpart in the first week of March regarding proposals by the Jamaican Government to repurchase the 49 per cent shares in Petrojam, owned by the Venezuelan state-owned oil refinery PDVSA.

"We have allocated a sum in our budget to repurchase that 49 per cent stake. We have completed a valuation, and as such, we are looking at the agreement that would need to be in place for us to acquire those shares," Wheatley said in a Gleaner interview.

Contingencies amounting to $35.3 billion have been allocated in the 2018-2019 Estimates of Expenditure to repurchase Petrojam shares. The money will also be used for liquidation of arrears in National Housing Trust employers' contribution and recapitalisation of the Bank of Jamaica.