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New standards for poultry imports—Trade Minister

Business - Tue, 08/28/2018 - 23:50

Local consumers will now be protected from “sub-standard” poultry products entering the local market because the Cabinet has agreed to the enforcement of the Caricom Regional Standard for Poultry Products said Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon.

“The standard requires English detailed labels, the names and addresses of the establishment and the processing plant, the country of origin and the dates slaughtered, the best before date. The standard also stipulates that for chilled poultry the best before date should not be more than five days from the date of slaughter,” she said.

Gopee-Scoon spoke yesterday on the recent Cabinet-approved enforcement of the Caricom Regional Standard for Poultry and Poultry Products in T&T, at the Ministry of Trade, Nicholas Towers, Port-of-Spain.

“The Cabinet has agreed to the enforcement of the Caricom Regional Standard for Poultry Products in T&T and this standard will be mandatory. The standard was developed under the authority of the Caricom Regional Organisation for standards and quality and shaped with consultations from stakeholders throughout Caricom members states including T&T. Locally stakeholders including the T&T Bureau of Standards, Caribbean Poultry Association and the Chemistry, Food and Drugs Division of the Ministry of Health in the development of the standards over the period 2012 were engaged,” she said.

The standards indicate quality requirements and specifications for primary, processed poultry consisting of carcasses, poultry parts for human consumption and provides definitions of the standards for the market category of poultry and the requirements of sanitation, hygiene, grading, packaging, labelling and marketing.

She said chicken meat of “varying standards” has been entering T&T despite a Caricom standard for poultry products but that standard is voluntary.

She referred to concerns raised by Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat who said there was a need for national standards for poultry products on the backdrop of chicken of questionable quality coming into T&T.

She also said that this new standard will not affect prices at local pluck shops.

She said chicken meat is the most consumed meat in T&T and it is estimated that the average family consumes three to four times per week.

“Domestic consumption of chicken is estimated at 50,000 tonnes per year. The equivalent of that in terms of birds is 55 million chickens per year. 60 per cent of that is produced locally and the rest is imported.”

She added that the Ministry of Health will be responsible for enforcing standards and she hopes it is done by the end of the year.

She spoke about consequences if the requirements are not met.

“These items will just be not offered for sale, will not be on the shelves to the consumers.”

Desmond Ali, executive director, Caribbean Poultry Association, who also spoke at the media conference, said that there is no need for consumers to worry about hormones being injected into chickens.

“I need to put this hormone thing at rest. The fact is that the poultry industry around the world has not been using hormones. The last time they used hormones was in 1963,” he said.

Categories: News

67 benefit from $1m grant to start small businesses

Business - Tue, 08/28/2018 - 23:48

The Ministry of Social Development and Family Services yesterday distributed $1 million in grants to 67 recipients of the Sowing Empowerment through Entrepreneurial Development (SEED) programme.

Each recipient received a grant of $15,000 by Minister of Social Development and Family Services Minister Cherrie-Ann Crichlow-Cockburn at a distribution ceremony at Government Plaza, Port-of Spain.

One recipient, Ursula Mark-Kelly promised to put the grant to good use, as she plans to open a mini-mart next month at her home in Sherwood Park, Arima.

In addition to selling dry goods and a variety of frozen meats, Mark-Kelly, 45, said she will offer pastries and cakes to her customers. “This business will help supplement my family’s income. My husband is a labourer and jobs have not been coming in on a regular basis due to the downturn in the economy,” Mark-Kelly said.

For several weeks, Mark-Kelly was exposed to training at the University of T&T in business management which was facilitated by the Central Bank of T&T.

“This training guided me on how to run my business efficiently and effectively and attract customers. I certainly learnt a lot. I am forever thankful to the ministry for helping me to open my own business which has been a long-life dream of mine,” the mother of three said.

Of the 67 recipients, the majority ventured into agriculture, while other chose garment construction, catering, cosmetology and establishing mini-marts.

In delivering remarks, Patricia De Leon-Henry, director of the ministry’s National Social Development Programme told the recipients that this programme was one of the key drivers of the ministry’s thrust to strengthen its national social safety net.

She said the programme encourages individuals, families and communities to become more resilient while the grants will provide assistance to clients interested in starting a business or improving their skills set.

“The primary objective is to empower and to transform the lives of all successful applicants particularly those in receipt of welfare grants but desirous of starting a micro-enterprise.”

De Leon-Henry said the ministry envisaged a new pool of business owners who will assist in reducing levels of dependency on the State and add to the country’s overall competitiveness and innovation.

The recipients were trained in financial management, record keeping, costing and pricing, marketing, customer service and development of responsible behavioural and attitudinal skills.

In extending best wishes, Crichlow-Cockburn told the recipients that the ministry was prepared to provide support throughout their entrepreneurial journey while monitoring their businesses.

“What we try to do is work with our clients. The intention is for them to become self-sufficient. That is the basic idea behind the grants,” the minister said.

Last year, the ministry distributed grants to 20 clients many of whom still operate as entrepreneurs today. The recipients, Crichlow-Cockburn said do not have to repay the grants.

Categories: News

New police uniforms harder to copy—Seales

News - Tue, 08/28/2018 - 23:41

The Police Social and Welfare Association has again proposed a change of police officers’ uniforms.

Members of the association yesterday met with newly-appointed Police Commissioner Gary Griffith and divisional commanders of the T&T Police Service (TTPS) over the proposal, which arose out of previous discussions with Griffith over the need to rebrand the service.

In a telephone interview after the meeting, association’s president Insp Michael Seales said: “We want to leave the old uniform in the past because it has a lot of historical disdain over the current uniform. So when we rebrand we are doing so fresh.”

Seales said the proposed uniforms, which he claimed were well received by Griffith and other senior officers, have technical features that make them harder to replicate by criminals.

“They are particularly designed for the TTPS, so it is not like a person can easily purchase one. It would take a police officer to actually lend a person the uniform,” Seales said.

In addition to a unique design, the uniforms also have features which make them more practical for tropical climates.

“There are some perforated holes running from under the arm to the end of the stomach, which allows air to go into the shirt and be trapped, so it keeps the officers cooler. It is almost essentially waterproof because it dries quickly,” Seales said.

He also claimed the new uniforms would be more cost-effective.

“The uniforms actually cost far less than what we are using at this time. Just the silver button alone carries up the cost of the uniforms astronomically,” Seales said as he claimed the uniforms are “wash and wear” and would allow officers to robe and disrobe within 10 to 15 seconds.

The uniforms will also feature standardised footwear for officers which was selected based on comfort for officers.

Asked whether the new uniforms are similar to those proposed under the tenure of former police commissioner Dwayne Gibbs in 2012, Seales said there were differences. He also admitted that the previous proposal failed due to a failure to get Government approval.

“We would have tried our best to advocate for the change also but we found that what happened is that with changes in ministers there was a change in direction on the objectives,” he said.

In addition to the uniforms, the association also prosed that police identification cards be replaced by metal badges such as those used by international police forces such as the New York Police Department (NYPD). Seales said the badges would help eliminate police impersonators and would feature an electronic chip which would assist in emergency situations.

“There is also technology in those badges where we can store data, including medical history, enter and exit history into buildings, overtime billing and history of what officers are trained in,” he said.

Categories: News

Sick patients not being sent home, says hospital CEO

News - Tue, 08/28/2018 - 23:36

Chief executive officer of the North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) Wendy Ali yesterday dismissed reports that ailing patients of the Port-of-Spain General Hospital were being hastily discharged from the health institution to make room for relocated patients of the hospital’s Central Block.

Her comments came after reports surfaced that relatives of patients warded at the Port-of- Spain General Hospital had challenged the decision by hospital authorities to discharge a number of patients to make room of others transferred from the Central Block.

Last Thursday, the NWRHA decanted 122 patients of the hospital’s Central Block after the Urban Development Corporation of T&T promised to undertake remedial works on the building after it suffered damage during last Tuesday’s 6.9 magnitude earthquake.

Most of the patients were shifted to the hospital’s North Block.

Ali said between Monday and yesterday the hospital discharged 14 patients.

“My doctors are quite satisfied that these people (patients) were ready to go home. We would not discharge a patient unless we believe that they are medically fit to be discharged. I spoke to the medical director and manager of quality in here and nobody has any reports of that. Nothing officially has come to us.”

She admitted that the hospital continues to identify “more bed spaces” on the North Block.

“We are actively monitoring our bed usage that we have. We could afford to admit patients. What we are doing is managing our bed bureau properly, in that, we will look at other spaces we have identified.

We don’t expect the limited spaces to last very long. We are working aggressively in creating new ward spaces.”

Soon, she said new wards will be opened. On Monday, Ali said the NWRHA sent one patient to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex for treatment.

“Since that time we have sent no further patients by ambulance to Eric Williams Medical. If you come through our Accident and Emergency department you will stay at Port-of-Spain General Hospital.”

Categories: News

Airport heist could have been avoided—EPA

News - Tue, 08/28/2018 - 23:34

A $5 million robbery at the cargo dock at the Piarco International Airport, last December, could have been avoided.

This was the claim made by Airports Authority of T&T (AATT) security officers while addressing security concerns at the airport during a press conference held by the Estate Police Association at the Communication Workers’ Union Hall in Port-of-Spain, yesterday.

Vice chairman of the union’s AATT branch Kenneth Joseph said: “We are aware that there had not been any security officer posted at that location for a considerable period of time before that robbery.”

Joseph claimed that the union had highlighted the issue to the AATT management several years before bandits targeted the location and stole over $5 million in cash, which was due to be transferred to commercial banks in Tobago.

Four people were charged for the robbery but the stolen cash has not been recovered.

He alleged that the airport’s cellphone waiting lot and lax requirements for security clearance for certain segments of the facility were to blame. He also suggested that it could have been foiled if the AATT security team had an emergency response unit, which was only set up after.

“We are demanding that the AATT become more proactive and not reactive,” Joseph said.

Joseph also pointed out that there was limited CCTV coverage of the perimeter fence around the airport as he noted that the union’s branch chairman Videsh Bhagwandeen was injured while attempting to detain an intruder, who breached the fence earlier this year.

Joseph said that the AATT management repeatedly failed to acknowledge its concerns over security at the airport.

“The EPA is of the view that these actions or inactions could suggest that they (AATT) are wilfully allowing drugs and illegal items to enter and leave the country,” he said.

“Can we say that the guns that committed murders last night and last week did not pass through the airport? I think not,” Joseph added.

He claimed that the issues have a demoralising effect on its members, who were overworked due to staff shortages. “Some officers are dejected but because of their professionalism they continue to do their jobs under immense strain and scrutiny,” he said.

Joseph said that the union is seeking an invitation to appear before a Joint Select Committee of Parliament ( JSC) so that it could highlight the issues further.

“If we are not, we will hold another press conference, next week.

We may even seek the assistance of the United States Embassy and the United Kingdom and Canadian High Commissions as they all have a vested interest in the Piarco International Airport,” he said.

Categories: News

Way cleared for Cumuto highway work to resume

News - Tue, 08/28/2018 - 23:26

The Privy Council has cleared the last impediment blocking the Ministry of Works and Transport from resuming work on the first phase of the Churchill Roosevelt Highway extension to Manzanilla.

The United Kingdom-based court yesterday rejected environmental activist group Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS)’s final appeal over the dismissal of its lawsuit challenging a Certificate of Environmental Clearance (CEC) granted by the Environmental Management Authority (EMA).

The decision means that an injunction granted to the group by the local Court of Appeal, pending the final appeal, was automatically removed.

The five Law Lords, who heard the appeal at the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court in London, England, last month, did not give reasons for their decision, which was communicated directly to the parties.

The full judgment is expected to be released by the court on October 8.

In its appeal, the group was challenging two successive decisions by the High Court and Court of Appeal to strike out its lawsuit, in which it was challenging the process used by the EMA to grant the ministry the CEC for the first phase between Cumuto and Guaico. The five-kilometre segment is estimated to cost $400 million. Both local courts ruled that the case was filed outside the three-month statutory limit.

While FFOS was required to file the lawsuit three months after the EMA granted the ministry the CEC on June 22, last year, it filed it exactly three months after it learned of the decision on July 6.

In its substantive lawsuit, the group was claiming that the proposed route infringes on the Aripo Savannas forest reserve, which was declared an environmentally sensitive area by the EMA in 2007.

The reserve consists of 1,780 hectares of land which is home to over 500 species of plants including seven rare species and two endemic kinds of grass as well the endangered ocelot.

In defence of the claim, the EMA denied any wrongdoing in its process and pointed out that the CEC contained safeguards including constant monitoring by its team of technical experts to ensure compliance.

In its decision in March, the Court of Appeal also agreed with High Court Judge Kevin Ramcharan that most of the grounds raised by the group in its judicial review lawsuit are devoid of merit.

In a release issued yesterday, the EMA stated: “This judgment confirms the EMA’s rigorous process which has once again, withstood the scrutiny of the highest courts.”

However, none of the three courts that presided over the case did an in-depth review of the EMA’s process as that would have been done if the substantive case went to trial.

In a release issued shortly after, the group said that it was saddened but not discouraged by the outcome.

“FFOS is proud to have fought to protect the voiceless in this precious eco-system (the largest and last remaining naturally occurring savannas) in our country and to have petitioned the court for the highway to be simply be moved 400 metres south of the Savannas to protect rare, threatened, endemic, endangered, vulnerable species and the legally designated environmentally sensitive species, the ocelot,” it said.

The group was represented by Anand Ramlogan, SC, Richard Wald and Alvin Pariagsingh. The EMA’s legal team included Peter Knox, QC, Amira Rahaman, Ravi Heffes-Doon and Janelle Partap. The ministry and the National Infrastructure Development Company Limited (Nidco) was represented by Ian Benjamin, SC, and Tamika Jorsling.

Categories: News

Cops increase presence

News - Tue, 08/28/2018 - 23:22

Three men were killed and another was fighting for his life at hospital last evening, following a drive-by shooting in Bon Air Gardens, Arouca, on Monday night.

According to reports, around 8.45 pm officers of the Northern Division’s Rapid Response Unit (RRU) received a report of a shooting at Nightingale Drive, Bon Air Gardens. When they arrived on the scene, they found two men dead on the road and another lying unconscious in a track leading to the location.

The two dead men were identified as Dwight Richardson, 25, of Eastern Main Road, Arouca and 25-year-old Khadeem “Smalls” Williams, of El Dorado Heights, El Dorado.

The injured man, Saleem Dominique, 36, of Boodoo Avenue, Maturita, Arima, was taken to the Arima District Hospital but died while undergoing emergency surgery.

Homicide detectives later received a report of a man being admitted to the Eric Williams Medical Science Complex in Mt Hope with gunshot injuries.

Investigators later revealed the man, 22-year-old Nigel Scott, of Ramgoliee Trace, Cunupia, was wounded in the shooting and was taken to hospital by friends.

Crime scene investigators were processing the scene up to early yesterday morning as they attempted to determine what transpired. Their investigations were made more complex by the distances between where Richardson, Williams and Dominique were found and the fact that Scott was reportedly taken to the hospital several hours after the shooting.

Investigators believe the shooting is linked to two incidents in the community last week in which three men died. Police said the three previous victims were known associates of the victims who died this week.

Ronald “Tek” McKie was killed last Wednesday, while Anderson Forbes and Anderson James, who lived on the same street in the community where McKie was killed, were slain while attending his wake the following day.

All six victims are said to be known by police and were suspected of being members of a gang which operates in the community.

Police sources said anti-crime measures have already been put in place in an attempt to stymie any further attacks in the community since residents were now concerned for their safety.

When a news team from the T&T Guardian visited the Forensic Science Centre in St James yesterday, relatives of the victims refused to comment on their murders. However, Williams’ wife and friends were heard arguing with their mother over whether they should bury him under Muslim or Christian rites.

“They have to understand that she is his mother. They did not come around when he was in jail for three months. She was the one who had that headache,” a family friend, who accompanied Williams’ mother, said.

Williams’ mother eventually consented to him being buried under the rites of the religion he converted to after his widow and friends agreed to foot the bill for the funeral.

The trio’s murder, along with another in Malabar, Arima, raised the murder toll for the year to 361.

In the Malabar incident, Marlon Farrell, 41, of Joseph Avenue, Malabar, was murdered near his home.

When officers arrived on the scene shortly after 1 am, they found Farrell lying on the road with gunshot wounds to his head and chest. He was taken to the Arima District Hospital and was initially listed in a critical condition but passed away several hours later.

Investigations are continuing.

Categories: News

Importing fuel won’t cause hike

News - Tue, 08/28/2018 - 23:20

The Government will now determine whether there are price hikes in fuel supplies to consumers when Petrotrin shuts down its refinery and begins importing fuel.

This was the word from Petrotrin board chairman Wilfred Espinet evening, after he completed a busy day in which he held talks with the OWTU and other unions representing Petrotrin workers and detailed the company’s restructuring plan, which includes shelving the refining business and the future importation of the refined products of gasoline, diesel and aviation fuels.

Speaking to the T&T Guardian at the end of a day of talks, Espinet said any price increase in fuel “is a policy decision, the Government is the one to make the decision.” He said issues such as subsidies we outside the remit of Petrotrin.

Asked whether importing fuel would not be more expensive, Espinet said, “I don’t believe so because we are an expensive refinery. The net cost of the product is unlikely to be any more than it is now.”

Efforts to contact Energy Minister Franklin Khan and Finance Minister Colm Imbert on the issue of the future price of fuel when the refinery is shut down were unsuccessful as calls to their mobile phones went unanswered.

In the 2018 budget, Imbert announced a 39 cents increase in the price of Super fuel from $3.58 to $3.97 per litre while the cost of diesel fuel went from $2.30 to $3.41 per litre. He also signalled then Government’s intention was to remove the fuel subsidy entirely and implement a system whereby fuel prices at the pump would fluctuate and be determined on the market prices of oil and refined products. The model is similar to that used in the United States and in St Lucia in the Caribbean.

Commenting on the plan yesterday, former energy minister Kevin Ramnarine expressed concern at what he said was the very real prospect of consumers paying international market prices for diesel and gasoline in the absence of information on where the company intends to import fuel from.

According to Ramnarine, about “17 per cent of the refinery output is consumed locally, another 17% is consumed regionally and the is rest sold to extra regional customers.” The major regional customers are Barbados, Jamaica and Guyana, he said.

Yesterday, there were long lines at gas stations as consumers started panic buying in reaction to news the Government planned to shut down the Petrotrin refinery.

But NP, which is the main supplier of fuel products produced by Petrotrin, meanwhile assured that its operations are “running normally with a continuous and reliable supply of fuel.” The company also advised there was “no need for consumers to panic-buy,” saying such action will only serve to “cause fuel shortages.”

Espinet also assured consumers that there was no need to panic buy.

“We have sufficient stock and we will continue to keep quantities so that we do not create disruptions,” Espinet said.

The company, he said, produces more than the country can use and it is that excess which is sold. But in the current situation, “it’s a matter of keeping the inventory so we will be adequately supplied in the local market.”

If there is a need, he said fuel will be imported to ensure that local demands are met, as has been done in the past.

As to supplies to Caribbean islands, Espinet said Petrotrin is looking at importing in “larger amounts and re-sell to some of the smaller markets. It will give us economies of scale in purchasing.”

In doing this, he said there will be use of the facility “in some way. It is not a big business but at least it will keep a few hundred people occupied,” Espinet said.

Unions were informed yesterday that all 1,700 jobs in the refining operations will be terminated and a re-designed exploration and production business will have approximately 800 workers. According to the company, 2,600 permanent jobs will be affected by the restructuring exercise.

Official statistics from the company indicate that Petrotrin had lost TT$8 billion in the last five years, is $12 billion in debt and owes the Government more than $3 billion in taxes and royalties. The company said it required a cash injection of TT$25B to stay alive, to refresh its infrastructure, to repay its debt and even when that is done if the company remains as is it is projected to continue losing about TT$2B a year.

Espinet said with the “termination of the refining operations and the re-design of Exploration and Production, Petrotrin will now be able to independently finance all of its debt and become a sustainable business.”

Categories: News

Petroleum dealers wary of survival

News - Tue, 08/28/2018 - 23:10

With Petrotrin’s plan to import gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other refined products for the local market, Petroleum Dealers Association president Robindranath Naraynsingh believes there will be another increase in fuel prices at the pumps.

With the impending closure of Petrotrin’s Refining and Marketing operation, the production of fuel at the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery will cease.

But at a media conference at the Pointe-a-Pierre Staff Club yesterday, Petrotrin board chairman Wilfred Espinet said the company intends to continue to supply local dealers with the products and engage in bunkering. Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) will not be imported, he said.

Espinet could not, however, say where the products would be sourced. But he said they will find the products in the same way the company was able to source crude for refining. Petrotrin already imports crude from Canada and Russia.

When asked if the importation of fuel will increase the cost at fuel stations, he said: “Listen, the pump price is a policy decision. It has nothing to do with cost. The pump price that you pay has nothing to do with the cost of the fuel, so that is a political position for somebody to have to tangle with.”

In an interview afterwards, however, Naraynsingh said that the impact will be felt heavily given three increases in fuel prices in the past three years. If prices increase again, he said the impact on motorists’ finances could lead to a decrease in purchasing. This means that many operators could suffer heavy losses, he said.

“There is going to be a change in how we do business, how the effect drills down to the ordinary citizens of our country and it is going to drill deep. We as a people have to now hope that we’re going to climb out of this…We will go through a little turmoil, there will be some convulsion in the way we operate, some high people will dictate to us what to do,” Naraynsingh said.

As operators of fuel stations, he said they are governed by the Petroleum Act, which means that the cost of fuel at the pump is dictated by the Government. With profit margins already small, he noted many operators depend on a high turnover rate in order to reap gains, which may change under the future plan.

“A lot of gas station dealers are just living above substance levels. Expectations are going to be very strenuous and when the price of gas goes up, you collect a lot of money and pay a lot of interest in the bank on overdrafts. Small dealers will go out soon.”

He warned that these kinds of situations were responsible for dealers operating in clandestine ways, all with the purpose of keeping their families fed. He is hoping that the Government consults with the association before making any changes.

Categories: News

Gas price hike coming

News - Tue, 08/28/2018 - 23:07

Predicting an exponential increase in fuel prices at the pumps if the Government succeeded in shutting down the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery, Oilfield Workers’ Trade Union president general Ancel Roget yesterday called on all citizens to join with the union to stop the sale of Petrotrin’s assets.

Also calling for a boycott of the People’s National Movement Government starting yesterday, Roget said after 100 years in the oil and gas industry, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley was now taking T&T back to the days of colonialism by ending Petrotrin’s refinery operations to import fuel for domestic consumption.

Addressing hundreds of workers at Beaumont Hill, Pointe-a-Pierre, Roget said under the new restructuring plan, T&T’s crude oil will be exported as raw material and local consumers will have to import the finished product at exorbitant prices similar to the days of slavery.

“Who will supply us with fuel?” Roget asked, with someone in the crowd shouting back, “Venezuela.”

“If that country faces a natural disaster or political civil unrest or economic mayhem, we will be at their mercy and they could cripple our economy! Is the Government thinking about that?” Roget asked as the crowd applauded.

Accusing the Government of betraying the citizenry, Roget said they will resist any attempt to sell Petrotrin’s assets. He said during a meeting with the Petrotrin board yesterday, three proposals were outlined which the union rejected.

The first option was to leave Petrotrin as it is; the second to downsize the entire Exploration/Production and Refining operations and the third was to shut down the refinery, send home all workers and rehire a workforce of 1,000.

Roget said Petrotrin currently employs 3,500 permanent workers. But out of the 1,000 to be rehired under the new plan, he said Petrotrin plans to use 800 for the Exploration and Production fields and 200 for the turn-milling operations which will replace the refinery.

Asked what will happen to the existing refinery, Roget said there was the suspicion that all its 33 functional plants will be sold in a fire sale to a company now hiding behind the scenes and directing the Government to betray the people of T&T.

Saying the PNM will face a terrible political backlash for this action, Roget said the motoring public had every reason to be worried, adding that consumers may end up paying international prices for fuel in the near future. This, he said, will cause mayhem in T&T.

“We have seen the heartless intentions of Dr Rowley to unleash a type of hardship that this country has never seen before,” Roget said.

Told that Petrotrin said it was not selling the refinery, Roget said, “We do not trust the Petrotrin board or the Government.”

He said since 2011, the OWTU had submitted a proposal to Petrotrin to turn around the fortunes of the floundering company by setting up four divisions—Land: North and East (LNE), Trinmar Offshore Operations, Exploration and Production and the Augustus Long Hospital. He said each entity would be held accountable for boosting crude oil, the production of which will reduce the existing crude importation for the refinery. Roget said under this plan, without any further drilling activity an increase of 5,000 barrels per day would have been achieved and once there was a full reactivation of Southwest fields, a further 3,000 barrels per day would have been achieved.

He added that on April 3, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed with the board to implement the union’s proposal but behind the workers’ backs, the company decided to shut down the refinery and send home workers. He revealed that 100,000 barrels of oil per day are imported to run the refinery, while production levels are at 40,000 barrels of oil per day.

He said a meeting will be held with the company on Monday to further discuss proposals, adding that Petrotrin will only save $2 billion if the refinery operations were shut down.

Roget also warned that the board has already cancelled orders for crude oil imports in a bid to ramp down operations at the refinery, so although it asked for a meeting it seemed the death of the refinery was already a “done deal.”

He advised the workers to blank the PNM by not attending its meetings and fetes, adding anyone who supports the party was showing no self-respect for themselves or the country. He also warned that the union will be utilising several strategies to ensure that the Government does not send T&T into a tailspin by shutting down Petrotrin.

Categories: News

Company seeks to reinvent itself

News - Tue, 08/28/2018 - 22:55

Following is a statement Petrotrin released to the media on its impending restructuring plan yesterday.

The Petrotrin Board of Directors met on 2018 Tuesday, August 28 with its employee representative unions and the company’s management to announce plans to end Petrotrin’s oil refining operations at Pointe-a-Pierre and to redesign entirely its Exploration and Production business. The restructuring exercise is geared to curtail losses at the state-owned oil company and get it on a path to sustainable profitability.

Approximately 2,600 permanent jobs will be affected – the redesigned Exploration and Production business will have approximately 800 workers and all 1,700 jobs in refining will be terminated. Petrotrin is committed to cushioning the effects of any fallout that occurs from the planned changes.

The announcement follows months of careful review and analysis by the Company’s Board of Directors, which was appointed last September to identify the problems at Petrotrin and take the steps necessary to make the Company self-sustainable and profitable.

Petrotrin has lost a total of about TT$8 billion in the last five years; is TT$12 billion in debt; and owes the Government of Trinidad and Tobago more than TT$3 billion in taxes and royalties.

The company currently requires a cash injection of TT$25 billion to stay alive – to refresh its infrastructure, and to repay its debt – and even with that, if left as is, it is projected to continue losing about TT$2 billion a year.

Chairman Wilfred Espinet said: “With the termination of the refining operations and the redesign of Exploration and Production, Petrotrin will now be able to independently finance all of its debt and become a sustainable business.

“Petrotrin is no longer producing enough oil to operate the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery efficiently: We are producing approximately 40,000 barrels of oil a day and the refinery operates at a capacity of 140,000 barrels a day, so we have to go to the market to buy about 100,000 barrels of oil to make up the shortfall. This results in a net loss in foreign exchange.”

The refining of oil will be phased out and the Company will import the refined products (gasoline, diesel, aviation fuels, etc.) that the country needs – approximately 25,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day. All of the company’s oil will be exported.

Espinet said: “Our goal is for Petrotrin be an internationally competitive and sustainably profitable leader in the local energy sector; and an employer of choice, that is a source of national pride.”

The period of transition will commence on 2018 October 1.

The Board of Directors is taking all requisite steps to facilitate a smooth and efficient period of transition with safety and the security of the country’s fuel supply being its two priorities.

Petrotrin will be meeting with all of its stakeholders during the coming weeks to discuss how the proposed changes may affect them.

Categories: News

‘We had to cut out the cancer’

News - Tue, 08/28/2018 - 22:51

With $8 billion in losses in the past five years and a bullet payment of US$850 million due in 2019, Petrotrin chairman Wilfred Espinet says terminating its Refining and Marketing operations and retrenching 1700 permanent and casual employees was the only way to save the company after 100 years of operations in the industry.

In a media conference at the Pointe-A-Pierre Staff Club yesterday, Espinet said a commercial company cannot continue to operate at a loss indefinitely. He said under the current operation, Petrotrin’s value in terms of its balance sheet was deteriorating. Given the mandate by the Government to return the company to profitability, Espinet said the board of directors had to embark on a programme that would stop the deterioration so the company would be able to pay the debt it had accumulated.

Petrotrin has a $12 billion debt and owes Government more than $3 billion in taxes and royalties. The company requires a cash injection of $25 billion to refresh its infrastructure and to repay its debt, Espinet said, noting this money could not be funded initially and it was impossible to keep the refinery working.

In a release yesterday, the company said if left as is, the projected loss would be an estimated $2 billion per year. Espinet added that if the company does not find a solution to its bond payments in the coming weeks there will be an impact on its sovereign rating. He said the money being saved from shelving crude imports will help to repay the loan.

On being appointed, he said the board recruited experts to assess the performance capacity of the company’s assets and it was found that in comparison to other companies in the industry, Petrotrin ranked last.

He could not give a value of Petrotrin’s assets, as he said several were written down but they were intangible.

Further “bad investments” like the World Gas to Liquid Plant exacerbated the current problem, he said. Petrotrin produces 140,000 barrels of oil daily, of which 100,000 are imported crude. These imports require a lot of working capital and contribute to the loss.

“We had to take Petrotrin and redesign it from what it was and we put it into focused companies that would have an exploration and production end and a refinery and marketing unit. These two units were looked at and it was identified from very early that the refining and marketing were not going to survive because it was not profitable. It could not be made profitable, in fact,” Espinet said.

“We had a continued programme of looking at all sorts of ways to make this thing work. We came to the conclusion that if we wanted to be able to pay back the debt and if we wanted to be able to have a profitable company that could be sustained over time, we would have to take out what was the cancer of the operation and that would have been the refining and marketing.”

Noting that retrenchment would be an emotional process for the affected workers, he said the board met with the Government and looked at all options but there was no alternative. He said government accepted the board’s proposal and gave the go-ahead for the closure.

Espinet said this will be the course of action unless the Oilfield Workers’ Trade Union can come up with an alternative that is better than the closure. The OWTU has already presented its proposals to the company, which called for the creation of four entities: Land: North and East (LNE), Trinmar Offshore Operations, Exploration and Production and the Augustus Long Hospital.

OWTU leader Ancel Roget had warned that the refinery will be sold to private investors, but yesterday Espinet said, “There is no likelihood of that refinery being sold.”

Although aged, the refinery had had several upgrades in recent years. Among them is the construction of an Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel Plant, which Espinet said gave it value.

Board member Anthony Chan Tack said the refinery was unreliable and likened it to a taxi that was “more in the garage than on the road.”

No date was given for the restructuring exercise, as Espinet said they wanted to work with the union to determine the best way of retrenchment.

Approximately 2,600 permanent jobs will be affected as the company intends to redesign its Exploration and Production business, which will have approximately 800 workers.

Yesterday, the board met with the OWTU to discuss the company’s plan, which the union rejected.

In April, the company and the union signed a Memorandum of Agreement to establish a working committee to restructure Petrotrin. This included regular meetings, but none were held since the agreement was signed. Espinet explained yesterday that the company wanted to present the union with a workable plan, but all it had was a problem. He said they did not want to approach the union without a feasible course of action.

“We had a problem. We were not going to go to them with a problem. We were going to go to them with a solution. Coming to them with this, therefore, is to us, what the solution is,” Espinet said.

He said the company was asking the union to understand a situation which has a major impact on it and its members. He said the company now has to find an exit plan that makes it less difficult than if the workers were just being thrown on the pavement.

Categories: News

Roget predicts increase in fuel prices

News - Tue, 08/28/2018 - 17:41

Predicting an exponential increase in fuel prices at the pumps if government succeeded in selling the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery, president general of the Oilfield Workers Trade Union president general Ancel Roget is calling on all citizens to join with the OWTU to stop the government from selling T&T's prized national oil assets.

Calling for a boycott of the PNM starting yesterday, Roget said after 100 years in the oil and gas industry, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley was now taking T&T backward to the days of colonialism by ending its refinery operations only to import fuel for domestic consumption. 

Addressing hundreds of workers at Beaumont Hill, Pointe-a-Pierre, Roget said under the new restructuring plan, T&T's crude oil will be exported as raw material and local consumers will have to import the finished product at exorbitant prices similar to the days of slavery.

"Who will supply us with fuel?" Roget asked and someone in the crowd shouted "Venezuela."

"If that country faces a natural disaster or political civil unrest or economic mayhem, we will be at their mercy and they could cripple our economy! Is the government thinking about that?" Roget asked as the crowds applauded. 

Accusing the PNM government of betraying the citizenry, Rowley said the OWTU will resist any attempt to sell Petrotrin's assets. He said during a meeting with the Petrotrin Board on Tuesday morning, three proposals were outlined to the union, all of which were rejected.

The first option was to leave Petrotrin as it is; the second was to downsize the entire Exploration/Production and Refining operations and the third was to shut down the refinery, send home all workers and rehire a workforce of 1,000 people.

Roget said Petrotrin currently employs 3,500 permanent workers. Out of the 1,000 to be rehired, Roget said the company plans to rehire 800 for the Exploration and Production fields and 200 for turn-milling operations which will replace the refinery. 

Asked what will happen to the existing refinery, Roget said there was the suspicion that all 33 functional plants of the refinery will be sold in a fire sale to a company who is hiding behind the scenes and directing the government to betray the people of T&T.

Saying the PNM will face a terrible political backlash, Roget said the motoring public had every reason to be worried, adding that consumers may end up paying international prices for fuel in the near future. 

This, he said will cause mayhem in T&T.

"We have seen the heartless intentions of Dr Rowley to unleash a type of hardship that this country has never seen before," Roget said.

Told that Petrotrin said it was not selling the refinery, Roget said, "We do not trust the Petrotrin Board or the government." 

He said since 2011, the OWTU submitted a proposal to Petrotrin to turn around the fortunes of the floundering company by setting up four divisions - Land: North and East (LNE), Trinmar Offshore Operations, Exploration and Production and the Augustus Long Hospital.

He said each entity will be held accountable for boosting crude oil; the production which will reduce the existing crude importation for the refinery.

Roget said under this plan without any further drilling activity an increase of 5,000 barrels per day would have been achieved and once there was a full reactivation of Southwest fields, a further 3,000 barrels per day would have been achieved. 

He added that on April 3, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed with the Petrotrin Board to implement the OWTU proposal but behind the workers' backs, the company decided to shut down the refinery and send home workers. 

He revealed that 100,000 barrels of oil per day is imported to run the refinery while production levels are at 40,000 barrels of oil per day.

He added that a meeting will be held with the company on Monday to further discuss proposals, adding that Petrotrin will save $2 billion is the refinery operations were shut down.

Roget also warned that the Petrotrin Board has already canceled orders for crude oil imports in a bid to ramp down operations at the refinery so even though it asked for a meeting with the OWTU, it seems the death of the refinery was already a done deal.  

Roget advised the workers to blank the PNM by not attending its meetings and fetes. 

He said anyone who supports the PNM was showing no self-respect for themselves or their country. He also warned that the OWTU will be utilizing several strategies to ensure that the PNM government does not send T&T into a tailspin by shutting down Petrotrin.

Categories: News

Kesar: Not true that OWTU played role in purported sale of Petrotrin refinery

News - Tue, 08/28/2018 - 11:57

Trinmar’s Branch President Ernesto Kesar is debunking any notion that the Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU) had anything to do with the purported sale of Petrotrin’s refinery.

In an interview on Tuesday morning about an hour before the OWTU went into a meeting with Petrotrin’s Board, Kesar said the lives of over 100,000 people were hanging in a balance. 

He said about 3,400 workers will be directly affected if the PNM government sold or privatized Petrotrin’s operations.

Kesar said it was the OWTU that signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Petrotrin to restructure the troubled oil company.

Up until 2008, Kesar said the company was turning a profit and workers were enjoying variable pay and profit sharing.

"The government spent millions to bail out Clico and what did Clico do for our country? Petrotrin is the lifeblood of our economy," Kesar said as workers applauded.

He admitted that during earlier talks, the government agreed to restructure the company but he said there was no consultation about the sale of the refinery.

"If it is true that the government went behind the backs of the OWTU and sold the refinery then it was the most devilish and sinister plan ever plotted by the PNM government," Kesar said.  

He added that the OWTU is the legally recognized trade union of the company and any plan to restructure Petrotrin must go through the union.

The company met with the OWTU from 10:30 am on Tuesday morning, following which the OWTU will address its membership at noon. 

Road wagon tankers continued to operate as usual from the Petrotrin bond and there was a heavy police presence at the state-owned company. 

More as this story develops.

Categories: News

Frustrated Petrotrin workers gather to hear company's fate

News - Tue, 08/28/2018 - 11:08

It was a feeling of gloom and doom outside the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery on Tuesday morning as workers received news that the refinery will be shut down and some 700 workers will be sent home. 

From as early as 6 am, an Oilfield Workers Trade Union representative stood outside the main gates advising workers that the union will be addressing them outside Beaumont Hill at 12 midday to give an update on the current state of the troubled oil company. 

Some of the workers appeared harassed and frustrated.

Others were angry and a few were nonchalant.   

One worker James Gabriel said, "At this point, we have to do what is necessary to safeguard our families. There is a lot of secrecy and uncertainty. People are anxious and worried. In the event that we are sent home, we will have to look for other jobs." 

Another worker who requested anonymity said he intended to go to the Point Lisas Industrial Estate to find work.

A clerical worker who walked past the security shrugged saying, “What will we do? We have no choice. They are in charge.”

Outside the Trinmar facility, hundreds of Trinmar workers gathered.

Advising them that the union will be meeting with them later today.

In an internal company memo sent by George Commissiong, all private payroll employees Grades 11-17 from Petrotrin as well as Grades 8 and above from Trinmar Operations were invited to a meeting at 3 pm today at the Pointe-a-Pierre staff club.

A source said there was the suspicion that these workers will be sent home. 

President General of the OWTU Ancel Roget is expected to address the media at 1:30 pm.

Roget has not revealed details of whether the OWTU was informed beforehand of the impending shutdown.

The union and Petrotrin are scheduled to meet at 10:30 am at the Petrotrin Staff Club following which he will meet with workers at midday.

We will have more information as this story develops.

Categories: News

Browne explains the selection process

Sports - Tue, 08/28/2018 - 00:18

“When a player reveals they are reading more, and that they are committed to self-motivation training and you have seen improved performances, that tells you that some of our players are committing themselves to play the best cricket for West Indies. Ideally, a selector wants a player that is a self-starter and while that mostly is not the case,” Chairman of Selectors, Courtney Browne, sees the process he and his team are employing, over time, will work towards the benefit of West Indies Cricket.

Browne also feels that what will help to drive more consistent performances from our players, is having a second tier of well-prepared players to put selection pressure on the incumbent players.

However, this can only be achieved by having a well-organised Franchise system with pre-season and off-season programmes to enhance and improve the standard of play and players within the region. This would complement the amount of cricket being played, in different formats, by increasing the quality of play by the pool of players that are available.

Starting September this year, West Indies will play India and Bangladesh away; they will return home to face England and India; the one-day team will participate in the Cricket World Cup, May to July next year and there are several other tours to come. That means the selectors will be under pressure to assemble the best units to represent in the different formats. Additionally, there will be World Cup for Under 19s in 2020 and the 2020 World Twenty20 Championship.

That is a lot of cricket and Browne and his team will have to ensure that each team has a fair chance to be competitive and win. Since the West Indies made its international debut as a Test playing nation in 1928, there is one issue that attracted the most talk “selection” and today, nine decades later, that has not changed.

Browne is adamant that his team has the right approach to the process and with the approach presently being used, he thinks the performance of the teams will improve steadily.

Asked what were some of the thoughts that came to mind when he thinks of his role as the Chairman of Selectors for West Indies Cricket he responded with a mix of adjectives and phrases – they include teamwork, challenging, getting the fans to understand the process, teaching and learning and rewarding.

Quizzed on his preparation for the job the former West Indies wicketkeeper emphasized “research.” He expanded by highlighting this as a process. According to him the obvious thing to collect is current data on the players; however, an important part of the overall process includes:

• History of players

• Venues the players play on

• Teams, the players play against

• The tour the team/player is about to play in

• Attitude of the player

• Commitment, dedication and discipline

• Fitness

Those are just some of the key success factors for a player to get into a squad. What Browne emphasized that ideally “a player is required to show consistent performances for at least a two-year period (ideally three) to be placed in the elite squad. And then the player is managed based on the role they play in the team over time.

Browne likes the work he and his team does, similar to that of a Human Resource Manager as the process of selection and deselection is really one which looks at performances over a period and how the players adapt; and whether the team is able to win matches, series and looking ahead, World Cup and World Championship, where applicable.

The role of Chairman is one with a high volume of administrative work and this current team, led by Browne looks at: scheduling of selectors for all tournaments at the senior and age-group levels; periodic reports, evaluation and updates for all categories of players in keeping with contractual obligations, player issues with West Indies Players Association (WIPA); periodic updates to the Board of Directors and media appearances.

With the long list of tours to come for men and women, the Selection Panel is on the road and with the Women’s World T20 Championship to come in November; the men’s team to tour India and Bangladesh before the end of 2018; the pressure is on.

Browne, who is in St Vincent and the Grenadines for the West Indies Under 19 Championship. A tournament is a two-format event with the teams playing 3Day and 50-overs. Trinidad and Tobago won the 3Day version so far.

In part II of this series, Browne looks ahead to the CWC 2019 and we will have a look at how the panel will look to narrow a squad of 18 with less than 280 days to go. Windies Men qualified from a tournament in Zimbabwe in March this year.

Categories: News

Bronze for U-13 boys, girls

Sports - Tue, 08/28/2018 - 00:16

T&T Boys and Girls Under-13 had to settle for bronze when the Caribbean Regional Table Tennis Federation Mini and Pre Cadet (Under-11 and Under-13) Championship continued in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, yesterday.

Following a 0-3 loss to Puerto Rico in their Group Two opening match on Sunday, the T&T boys team of Nicholas O’Young, Jalen Kerr, Jamalli Mauge and Nicolas Lee rebounded to beat Guyana 3-1 and Dominican Republic ‘B’ 3-2 to end in the second spot in the pool for a semifinal clash with Group One winner, Dominican Republic ‘A’ at Parque del Este.

The host proved a difficult task for T&T with only Kerr winning his match in a 3-1 loss while St Lucia stunned Puerto Rico by a similar 3-1 margin in the other semifinal.

There are no third place playoffs so both T&T and Puerto Rico got bronze.

T&T Under-13 girls team of Priyanka Khellawan, Imani Edwards-Taylor, Sheneika Collette and Rebekah Sterling also had to settle for bronze in their six-team round-robin series.

This after T&T quartet whipped Guyana 3-1; Dominican Republic ‘B’ 3-0 and the Dominican Republic ‘A’, 3-1 as well on Sunday, only to lose to remaining matches versus winners Puerto Rico (1-3) and runners-up Jamaica, (1-3) yesterday.

In the Girls, Under-11 Team competition, T&T’s Chloe Fraser, Ashlea Mohammed, Lyllana Boodhan and Shreya Maraj ended fifth of six teams.

In their opener on Sunday, T&T battled past Guyana, 3-2 before losing to Dominican Republic ‘A; 0-3 and Puerto Rico, 2-3.

And yesterday, the T&T youngsters complete round-robin play with defeats against Dominican Republic ‘B’, and Jamaica, both by 0-3 margins.

The Under-11 Boys quartet of Gabriel John, Dillon Bruce, Sekel Mc Intosh, Kayode Lee went under to Guyana, 1-3 but rebounded to beat Dominican Republic ‘B’, 3-1.

However, they got off to a rough start yesterday, going under to Dominican Republic ‘A’ (0-3) followed by two more losses, 1-3 versus Jamaica and Puerto Rico, 0-3. The tournament continues today.

Categories: News

Julien gets Soca Warriors call

Sports - Tue, 08/28/2018 - 00:15

Teenage defender Keston Julien of Slovakian club Trencin is the lone un-capped player called up by T&T Soca Warriors coach Dennis Lawrence in a 20-man squad for the September 6th international Friendly against the United Arab Emirates.

The 19-year-old Julien, a left back formerly of San Juan Jabloteh has featured regularly for his club this season both domestically and in the Europa League qualifiers.

Also named in the squad by Lawrence is Charleston Battery striker, Atualla Guerra who has so far netted 14 goals for his team in the United Soccer League (USL).

It is the first call-up for the 30-year-old Guerra in over two years while Kathon St Hillaire who recently signed for SC Znojmo FK in the Czech Republic is also included, Some of the notables back in the team include Germany-based Joevin Jones, Sheldon Bateau, Shahdon Winchester, Levi Garcia, Nathan Lewis, Aubrey David, Khaleem Hyland, Daneil Cyrus, Triston Hodge, Kevan George and goalkeepers Adrian Foncette and Marvin Phillip.

The team assembles in Barcelona on September 3rd before heading to Gerona for the match.

“It is important that we understand that the squad was selected with different things to take into consideration. There were a number of players that were very close but we had to take into consideration the amount of time we will have in terms of training because the journey will take almost over a day and a half. We had to select a squad of players that basically knew what exactly what we are about and how we want to work and the things we want to do. We need to put in a performance and try to get a result,” Lawrence said.

“We took the opportunity to bring in players like Keston Julien and Ataulla Guerra to give them the opportunity to come in and push for a place in the team. We have to have a competitive squad. Going into this game we are going to challenge ourselves in a different way. Me the head coach, I am going to challenge myself in terms of right, ‘can we go and win the game’. The objective is to try and win the game,” he added.

Among the players missing out are Marcus Joseph, Sean De Silva, Yohance Marshall, Keron ‘Ball Pest’ Cummings’, Cordell Cato, Carlyle Mitchell and Mekeil Williams as well as Central American based strikers, Rundell Winchester and Jerrel Britto.


Goalkeepers: Adrian Foncette (Police FC), Marvin Phillip (Central FC)
Defenders: Sheldon Bateau (FC Kairat—Kazakhstan), Daneil Cyrus (Al-Orobah FC—Saudi Arabia), Aubrey David (Vaasan Palloseura FC—Finland), Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Triston Hodge (W Connection), Keston Julien (AS Trencin FC—Slovakia)
Midfielders: Kevan George (Charlotte Independence—USA), Neveal Hackshaw (Charleston Battery—USA), Akeem Humphrey (Club Sando), Khaleem Hyland (Al Faisaly FC—Saudi Arabia), Duane Muckette (Central FC), Levi Garcia (Kiryat Shomona FC—Israel), Ataulla Guerra (Charleston Battery—USA), Joevin Jones (Darmstadt 98—Germany), Nathan Lewis (Indy Eleven FC—USA), Kathon St Hillaire (SC Znojmo FK—Czech Republic), Jomal Williams (W Connection)
Forward: Shahdon Winchester (SJK Seinajoki—Finland)
Technical staff: Dennis Lawrence (head coach), Stuart Charles-Fevrier (assistant coach), Stern John (assistant coach), Ross Russell (goalkeeper coach), Israel Dowlat (doctor), Dave Isaac (medic), Saron Joseph (therapist), Sam Huggins (trainer), Michael Williams (equipment manager), Wayne Cunningham (media officer), Richard Piper (manager).

Categories: News

Dinninath cops Petrotrin title

Sports - Tue, 08/28/2018 - 00:13

The inform Omesh Dinninath copped the 2018 Petrotrin Golf Club annual championship title, with a fine two-day performance at the club’s facilities in Pointe-a-Pierre over the weekend.

Dinninath recorded scores of 71 and 77 to take the overall title, he was also the winner of the A-Class category. In the women’s division, the club’s coordinator Sherryann Fortune produced a score of 88 on Saturday and one stroke better on Sunday, for an overall score of 175.

In the juniors section, Aidan Ali was good as he held an overall score of 185 to take the title. Winning the B Class was Robert Ballack with an overall score of 160, Errol Goopiesingh was the C Class champion after he totalled 178. Lennox Oudit took the D Class winner with a score of 208 over the two days.

The well-attended event came off without any incidents and the golfers enjoyed the recently improved course. Captain of the club Kalam Sookoor expressed his satisfaction with the overall tournament and said, “This was a great weekend for golf in Pointe-a-Pierre and the members truly enjoyed themselves. The quality of the competition was high and I want to not only congratulate all the winners but everyone who took part in this wonderful event. We continue to work to improve the sport at this club and we are encouraged by the great support from our members.”

Categories: News

Calypso Netballers crush Canada 79-26

Sports - Tue, 08/28/2018 - 00:09

T&T Calypso Netballers made it two wins from as many matches when they crushed Canada 79-26 at the 2018 Americas Federation of Netball Association at the Sir Garfield Sobers Gymnasium, Wildey, Barbados, yesterday.

Coming off a dominant 86-29 victory over the USA in their opener on Saturday, the ‘Calypso Netballers’ again started brightly with professional duo Samantha Wallace and Kalifa Mc Collin combining for a 22-6 first quarter lead.

The 24-year-old Wallace who plies her trade with New South Wales Swift in Australia and Mc Collin of benecos Mavericks in England continued to pile on the goals in the second quarter as T&T extended their advantage to 44-12 with another 22 goals quarter to their opponents six.

With the victory all but secured T&T coach Wesley ‘Pepe’ Gomes made a few changes to his line-up at the half-time interval including the introduction of former captain Joelisa Cooper and Tahira Hollingsworth as goal attack and goal shoot for Wallace who sank 32 from 35 and Mc Collin 12 from14.

Despite the changes, the ‘Calypso Netballers’ continued to outplay their opponents and at the end of the third quarter held a comfortable 63-18 cushion.

The final period saw a little more fight from the Canadians who had their best shooting quarter of eight goals, while T&T had its lowest output of 16 to win by 53 and move to four points, the same as Grenada whom they face today from 8 pm.

Canada which suffered a 28-70 loss to host Barbados in their first match on Saturday, entered the match against T&T on a high, after a narrow 45-43 win against the USA on Sunday night.

Barbados leads the seven-team round-robin competition with maximum six points after hammering St Maarten 110-12 in Sunday’s late match.

Last night, USA faced Grenada and St Vincent and The Grenadines tackled St Maarten.

At the end the round-robin series on Sunday, the top two teams will qualify to next year’s Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England.


Grenada 106 vs Argentina 11
Canada 45 vs USA 43
Barbados 110 vs St Maarten 12
T&T 79 vs Canada 26
Argentina vs USA, 4 pm
St Vincent and The Grenadines
vs Barbados, 6 pm
Grenada vs T&T, 8 pm
St Vincent and The
Grenadines vs USA, 4 pm
T&T vs St Maarten, 6 pm
Grenada vs Canada, 8 pm

Categories: News


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