Mon | Nov 12, 2018

Energy minister optimistic about repurchasing Petrojam shares

Published:Saturday | June 2, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
A section of the Petrojam oil refinery in Kingston.

A meeting with a four-member technical delegation from Venezuela yesterday to discuss Jamaica's repurchase of that country's 49 per cent shares in Petrojam Limited has sparked the optimism of energy minister Dr Andrew Wheatley.

Yesterday's meeting is the latest intense engagement between Jamaica and its South American counterpart over the future ownership of Petrojam.

"It was a very productive meeting. We were able to go through the technical details as it relates to the buy-back. They are going back to have a meeting with their team members in Venezuela," Wheatley told The Gleaner yesterday. "They should be coming back next week to have further discussions. It was encouraging. We await them to have further discussions."

The proposal to repurchase the shares was first submitted by Wheatley on March 22 while on a working trip to Venezuela. During an interview with The Gleaner earlier this week, he shared his anxiety over the negotiating process to repurchase the shares.

"Petrojam refinery is priority for us. We are very appreciative of what Venezuela has done for us, but we have to look about our own energy security because we are approaching a level of anxiety, not having energy security. Plus, the refinery needs an upgrade," Wheatley stated earlier this week.