In T&T: Panama deal opens doors for Petrotrin

16 May 2012


Petrotrin’s “presence in the Panama Canal,” ought to provide the company and by extension T&T with ” immense business opportunities.”

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Petrotrin and Panama-based Melones Oil Terminal Inc (MOTI) now gives the State-owned company an avenue to explore bunkering opportunities in the Panama Canal.

The MOU was signed at the Hilton Trinidad on Monday and coincided with the activities of the 2012 Caribbean Investment Forum (CIF).

Petrrotrin chairman Lindsay Gillette and MOTI director/treasurer, Juan Carlos Heilbron signed on behalf of both companies.

“This arrangement represents a major step for Petrotrin as our presence in the Panama Canal provides us with immense business opportunities and can further boost our efforts to improve our presence in the global energy sector,” said Petrotrin president Khalid Hassanali, who was also present at the signing.

Melones Oil Terminal Inc is a privately-owned organisation with facilities under construction at the Pacific end of the Panama Canal. Earlier this year, the government of Panama finalised a contract with this organisation for the operation and administration of a fuel Free Zone capable of storing two million barrels of oil.

Petrotrin has also held preliminary discussions with two other Panamanian oil storage companies, Petrobunker and Telfers Tank Inc and is expected to also sign MOUs with these two companies to further bunkering arrangements.

The purpose of these MOUs is to facilitate further discussion with these companies in developing the opportunities for Petrotrin to enter the Panamanian fuel bunkering market, a statement said.

This latest initiative by Petrotrin also follows on the heels of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s visit to Panama in April where she held talks with Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli.

The talks centred on the potential of exploring and deepening the business arrangements between both countries and to specifically discuss possibilities in bunkering.

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