No Deal: Court Halts Sale of Barbados Oil Terminal

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bimjim
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No Deal: Court Halts Sale of Barbados Oil Terminal

Unread post by bimjim » Thu Mar 30, 2017

https://www.caribbean360.com/business/n ... l-terminal

No Deal: Court Halts Sale of Barbados Oil Terminal
March 30, 2017

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados

Petroleum company Rubis Caribbean has followed through on its pledge to fight the proposed sale of the state-owned Barbados National Terminal Company Limited (BNTCL) to regional petroleum giant, Sol.

It has secured a court injunction that – for the time being, at least – has put on hold the controversial sale proposal which the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) is still examining.

The interim injunction will be in place until April 3, but the relevant parties will attend court today to determine whether the injunction should be extended or discharged.

Rubis filed two legal challenges. One was an application for judicial review, challenging the inclusion of a 15-year moratorium clause in the agreement between the government and Sol for the US$100 million purchase of BNTCL – a subsidiary of the Barbados National Oil Company Limited (BNOCL). That clause would give Sol a moratorium on the construction of any new fuel terminal facilities in Barbados and a moratorium on the grant of licences for the storage of gasoline, diesel or fuel oil and aviation or jet fuels used for industrial and commercial purposes in Barbados, other than those that currently exist by the Energy Division or other Governmental Authority.

Chief Executive Officer of Rubis Caribbean Mauricio Nicholls told online newspaper Barbados Today that his legal team had advised that the moratorium would constitute an illegal restriction of the right granted to the Minister of Energy by law to decide on such matters.

“With the application, we also filed for an urgent interim injunction to restrain the parties in the proposed merger, which are basically Sol subsidiary and BNOCL from including this clause in the agreement in case the FTC approves the sale of BNTCL as submitted to them,” Nicholls disclosed.

Rubis also filed a separate legal claim against BNOCL , challenging the fairness of the tendering process for the sale of Barbados’ lone oil terminal, on the basis that the conditions offered to Sol were never offered to Rubis.

BNTCL manages the importation and supply of gasoline, diesel and fuel oil and provides storage for the local crude oil to facilitate shipping to Trinidad.

Rubis’ position is that the sale of the island’s lone oil terminal to Sol gives its competitor the monopoly in oil storage and distribution.

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