Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Time for new Petrojam financing arrangement, says JCC

Published:Thursday | December 24, 2015 | 12:00 PM
McDonald... With the government owning the majority 51 per cent share in Petrojam, Jamaica is facing the decision of whether it makes good business sense to seek a new financing scenario.

The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) wants the private sector to look seriously at taking over the ownership and operation of state-owned oil refinery, Petrojam.

JCC President Warren McDonald says his call is being made in the context of the association’s longstanding position that the Government should divest itself of ownership in the productive sectors.

He also says it comes in light of the imminent re-shaping of the Jamaican energy market because of the proposed removal of the Common External Tariff on petroleum products and the introduction of liquefied natural gas.

According to McDonald, it’s unlikely that Venezuela, which has 49 percent stake in Petrojam, will be able to fund the expansion and upgrade of the complex, given the financial realities facing that country.

He says with the government owning the majority 51 per cent share, Jamaica is facing the decision of whether it makes good business sense to seek a new financing scenario.

The call by the JCC follows a briefing by a team of senior Petrojam representatives to members of the JCC Executive Committee on Tuesday.

The briefing coincided with concerns by some JCC members regarding the slow downward movement of petroleum pump prices in the face of significantly lower world market prices for crude oil.