Rubis boss mum on BNTCL sale
The France-based petroleum company Rubis is eagerly awaiting a decision from the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) on the sale of the Barbados National Terminal Company Limited (BNTCL), even as Rubis awaits its next court date on the matter, the company’s most senior official said.
The High Court last Friday extended until May 26, an injunction preventing Government from selling the BNTCL to regional petroleum products giant the Sol Group.
Rubis had lodged an application for a judicial review, challenging the inclusion of a 15-year moratorium clause in the agreement between Government and the Sir Kyffin Simpson-led Sol for the US$100 million merger, which the FTC is currently probing to determine whether or not is should be approved.
The regulatory authority had initially set a deadline of March 31 to issue a ruling. However, a check by Barbados TODAY revealed that no new deadline or timeframe had been set.
When approached by journalists Wednesday on the sidelines of the official opening of the Fontabelle, St Michael Rubis service station, Chief Executive Officer of Rubis West Indies Limited Mauricio Nicholls said he was not prepared to speculate on either the outcome of the FTC probe or the court ruling.
“The FTC has not communicated with us any specific timeframe for the making of decisions so we are just waiting for them to make a decision and we don’t know when that is going to take place,” Nicholls said.
“We are waiting on the FTC to make a decision, and I hope some of the proposals we have put forward are accepted, but at this stage we are just waiting to see how things play out. I prefer not to speculate, we just have to wait and see how things play out.”
However, when asked if Rubis was still interested in a stake in the island’s sole oil terminal, Nicholls said he was not prepared to say more than what had already been said.
“I think we have said enough about the BNTCL and I have nothing more to add. All of our points have been communicated on that.
“I don’t want to say a lot about BNTCL because we have already informed the press about that,” he stressed.