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Barbados looking to new suppliers following closure of oil refinery in Trinidad

Barbados looking to new suppliers following closure of oil refinery in Trinidad

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Sept 12, CMC – Barbados Wednesday it is holding discussions with a number of suppliers with a view to employing a similar arrangement to that it had with the Trinidad and Tobago state-owned oil company, PETROTRIN.

PETROTRIN late last month announced the closure of its oil refinery blaming increasing financial losses. The closure has led to the retrenchment of more than 1,700 employees.

In a statement, the Barbados National Oil Company Ltd (BNOCL) said it currently imports gasoline from and sells its crude oil to PETROTRIN, while diesel and fuel oil are sourced extra-regionally.

It said kerosene is imported by the oil companies Sol and Rubis.

BNOCL said that at the time of the PETROTRIN announcement regarding the oil refinery, Barbados was exporting annually 260,000 barrels of crude oil to the Trinidad-based refinery and importing 60,000 barrels of gasoline on a monthly basis.

It said the annual contract with PETROTRIN entailed the exchange of the crude oil for gasoline, which aided in the reduction of the foreign exchange cost, as the value of the crude offset the outlay for the gasoline.

BNOCL’s said its storage capacity for gasoline is 80,000 barrels.

“As at Wednesday, September 12, 2018, BNOCL’s gasoline stock level was 53,582 barrels of gasoline, which is enough inventory for 25 days. Another shipment of 30,000 barrels is expected from PETROTRIN on the weekend of September 15, which will provide inventory for about 38 days’ supply.

“BNOCL will receive its final shipment of 30,000 to 35,000 barrels from PETROTRIN during the period September 24 to 28, and along with the previous shipments, will be sufficient to supply local consumption requirements until November 5 at a usage rate of 2000 barrels a day.”

The Ministry of Energy and Water Resources said that through BNOCL, it has been in discussion with a number of suppliers with a view to employing a similar arrangement to that with PETROTRIN.

‘”The goal is to ensure that this country has a consistent supply of gasoline at an affordable price, while securing a market for Barbados’ crude oil.  BNOCL has never had a stock-out of petroleum products and always has adequate inventory to service Barbados, and is ever mindful of the need to do so, particularly during the hurricane season.”

The government said it wanted to assure all Barbadians that it “is keeping ahead of the situation to ensure that despite the closure of the PETROTRIN refinery, there will be no shortage of gasoline in Barbados”.

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CIBC FirstCaribbean to close Anguilla branch

CIBC FirstCaribbean to close Anguilla branch

THE VALLEY, Anguilla, Sep. 13, CMC – The Anguilla branch of CIBC FirstCaribbean Intenrational Bank will be closed early in the new year.

This was announced on Wednesday by  Donnal Wellington, Managing Director of Barbados and the EC Islands, under which the Anguilla business falls.

“We conducted a strategic review of our business across the region and given the growth path we have identified we have made the difficult decision to close our operations in Anguilla,” she said.

“Our operation in Anguilla is a small one accounting for just five per cent of overall market share there. Since the economic downturn, our business in Anguilla has been experiencing operational losses. Given the continuing economic climate, we have therefore taken the difficult decision to close our office there.”

According to Wellington, CIBC FirstCaribbean has held discussions with the Government of Anguilla and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, as the regulator, and all parties have agreed to work in close coordination to ensure that the transition can take place in an orderly manner and that all are committed to ensuring continued financial stability in Anguilla.

She added that the bank’s employees in Anguilla will be offered separation packages consistent with the bank’s policy.

The branch operations will cease January 31 and the bank has asked all account holders to close their accounts and transfer their business to another commercial bank in Anguilla. 

CIBC FirstCaribbean says  as it prepares for the closure of its Anguilla branch the bank will not be transacting any new business with immediate effect.

The regional bank is also planning with National Commercial Bank of Anguilla Ltd, to allow clients with loan facilities and credit cards to service their debts to completion.

“We have met with our staff in Anguilla to apprise them of our decision and we are fully committed to supporting our employees and customers through this process. Additionally, we will be communicating with our clients to offer them the support they need in winding up their business with us,” Wellington said.

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Bertrand-Osborne - OECS

OECS Director General extends condolences on passing of former Chief Minister of Montserrat Bertrand Osborne

OECS Media release

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 — The OECS conveys sincere condolences to the Government and people of Montserrat on the passing of Bertrand Osborne, former Chief Minister.

Mr Bertrand Osborne served as Chief Minister of Montserrat from November 1996 to August 1997 during the volcanic crisis and was a member of the Montserrat Legislative Council for 14 years.He was also honoured with the National Order of Distinction award in 2014. 

“We have lost a leader, an oustanding man whose contribution to the development of Montserrat and by extension the OECS region is invaluable. We mourn this loss with the nation of Montserrat and extend our deepest sympathies to his family,” Director General of the OECS Commission Dr. Didacus Jules stated.

 
 

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Jamaican born customs officer dies suddenly

Jamaican born customs officer dies suddenly

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Sep. 13, CMC  – The police have announced plans to probe circumstances that may have led to the sudden death of a  51 year old customs officer earlier this week.

The police report that Lloyd “Silah” Francis, originally from the eastern parish of St. Thomas in Jamaica, was found dead at his home on Monday.

According to the Antigua Observer, officials from the Strategic Communications Office said  they are awaiting the outcome of an autopsy before determining the course of their investigation.

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Government moving to privatise sugar cane industry

Government moving to privatise sugar cane industry

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Sept 15, CMC – The Barbados government says it is considering merging or partnering the state-owned Barbados Agricultural Management Company Limited (BAMC) with the Barbados Sugar Industry Limited (BSIL), as it seeks to fully privatise the sugar cane industry.

Agriculture and Food Security Minister, Indar Weir, said also Barbadians will have an opportunity to own shares in the newly formed entity which should come on stream within another five years.

Weir said the government could no longer subsidise the BAMC to the tune of BDS$12 million (One Barbados dollar=US$0.50 cents) under the current International Monetary Fund (IMF) arrangement.

Last week, Barbados and the IMF said they had reached an agreement that will result in the country y being given access to almost US$300 million to support a home-grown programme aimed at turning around the economy.

Weir said as a result, the company would have to find a way to bridge that financial gap and that he has already instructed the BAMC board of directors would have to look at how quickly the transition into the new entity could happen.

The Agriculture Minister said government’s stake in the entity would be limited.

“We are embarking on a system of retooling and empowering, retraining and enfranchising.  And, if we are going to do this successfully, then it means that we as a Government must pave the way for all of this to take place.

“There is no space for any government in this modern time and place where the private sector can perform those duties and do them better.  I feel that greater efficiencies can come if we can get the sugar industry completely managed and operated through the private sector,” he said.

Weir said that Barbados now had a sugar industry that was capable of delivering what was needed “in terms of build out of an industry” to contribute to Barbados’ economy going forward.

He cited additional opportunities that would be created through the rebirth of the sugar cane industry, such as entrepreneurs becoming involved in the “direct packaging and consumption of sugar” and rum distilleries producing more rum using local inputs.

He also praised the high quality products being made at the St. Nicholas Abbey, as well as their business model, which combines the manufacturing of agricultural products with tourism.

Weir said that there was a high demand for the Barbados rum brand produced by St. Nicholas Abbey and for locally produced rum on a whole, adding that it was being sold “for a premium” in markets such as the United Kingdom.

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ECSCourt-logo

2018-2019 Law Year Opens September 18

A Release (adapted) from the High Court Registrar’s office on Montserrat on Thursday this week, informs that: On Tuesday,  September 18, 2018, the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court will commence the New Law Year 2018/2019 with its usual Ceremonial Opening in the form of a Special Sitting of the Court in Montserrat.  There will be simultaneous special sittings in the other eight (8) Member States and Territories of the OECS.

The proceedings will commence with a church service in each Member State and Territory, followed later by the procession to the High Court where the formal sitting will be held. 

In Montserrat, the Church Service will be held at The St James Anglican Church in Salem, commencing at 8.00 a.m., followed by the inspection of the Guard of Honour and a Mini Parade at the Car Park at Government Headquarters Brades. This will then be followed by the formal Court Sitting which will be held at the High Court at Government Headquarters Brades.

Chief Justice Janice Pereira

The Chief Justice, Her Ladyship, Dame Janice M. Pereira, DBE will deliver the Opening Address at 10:00 a.m. from Saint Christopher & Nevis where the Court of Appeal is scheduled for its first sitting in the New Law Year.

The theme for the opening of the Law Year’s address is “Challenges, Opportunities and Resilience: The ECSC paving the way to a Modern and Efficient Judiciary for the Eastern Caribbean”.

The Chief Justice’s address will be carried live via simulcast to the other Member States and Territories of the OECS and will also be broadcast throughout the region via the local media.

The public is encouraged to participate in the Ceremonial Opening of the Law Year 2018/2019 by attending either the church service or the special sitting or by listening to the events live on ZJB Radio. 

The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) was established in 1967 by the West Indies Associated States Supreme Court Order No. 223 of 1967.

 It is the superior court of record for the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), including six independent states: Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and three British Overseas Territories (BOTs) Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, and Montserrat. It has unlimited jurisdiction in each member State.

 

 

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Calm as he will be remembered

Thanksgiving Service and Mass for Bertrand B. Osborne who died on Tuesday, September 4, 2018

by Bennette Roach

Calm as he will be remembered

The following information has been confirmed and presented for the benefit of those who cannot otherwise attend the services but have access to radio, television and of course the miniature viewing provided by their tablets and smart phones. More specifically, overseas viewers worldwide will have their access.

The GIU will be bringing you live video coverage of the Service of Thanksgiving for the late Bertrand Osborne, starting at 10:30 a.m. today at the Montserrat Cultural Centre. This stream will be avialble on our facebook page ‘Government Information Unit Montserrat’. Our coverage will also be shared on liveislandevents.com.  Radio Montserrat will also broadcast live audio of the Service.

Thanks to Digicel, this stream will also be carried live on local television, on channels 8 and 352.

The Mass of Thanksgiving at the Catholic Church starting at 2:30p.m. will be streamed by live islands events on both Facebook and websites. There will also be live video coverage of the military procession leading to the St. James Anglican Church where Mr. Osborne will be buried.

Posted in Featured, International, Local, News, Obituaries, Regional0 Comments

TS Isaac - Image 2018-09-13 at 12.37.52 PM

Tropical Storm Isaac closes down Montserrat?

NOTICE

Cabinet has taken a decision to close all schools and government offices at 12 noon today for the passage of Tropical Storm Isaac. The private sector is also encouraged to close their businesses at 12 noon today as well, especially those with parents who have school-aged children.

According to Major Alvin Ryan, Interim Director at the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA), although, tropical storm conditions on Montserrat are not expected to get significantly worst, they are not anticipated to improve before 3 pm today and significant rainfall activity is forecast for this afternoon. Therefore, Mr Ryan says to err on the side of caution, all schools, government offices be closed at mid-day and the private sector is encouraged to do likewise.

By B. Roach

As The Montserrat Reporter is not obliged to carry ‘notices’ provided to us merely as information with no request for ‘paid’ publication which then obliges us, we cannot help but editorialise on what we consider to be poor decisions made without due regard for the economic status of the country. We of course regard this merely as a Notice to us, not otherwise, but find it aggravating. Oh for several reasons, not all mentioned here!

The very nature of the NDPRAC statement outlining the status of TS (Tropical Storm) Isaac suggests “to err on the side of caution’ is very questionable as to the understanding of the information available from all sorts of sources.

Along with what they are saying, for those concerned a constant look at the www.themontserratreporter.com does provide simple guide and information to the weather status affecting Montserrat from www.AccuWeather.com. We use also additional sources. There you will find hourly weather situations. E.g. Today, unlike earlier in the forecasts which promised possible thunderstorms etc. it shows showers and cloudy conditions from time to time into the evening. Tomorrow a national day of mourning , the passing of former CM Bertrand Osborne – is a holiday.

The question when all other circumstances, including ‘official’ forecasts should this encourage our government to take a decision to close down the country for the rest of the day, when the possible worst would have past. (See diagrams here).

current information:

Center location already west of the most affected islands, Martinique, Dominica, Guadeloupe

TS Isaac – Image 2018-09-13 at 12.37.52 PM – (See Montserrat outside the ball of activity!

These decisions are so symptomatic of the miserable state Montserrat has evolved into the over the past several years. Unfortunately, we see this situation as continuing for some time, throughout this decade, already too long especially as one listens to the ongoing discussions regarding an inquiry invoked by the UK Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) into the UK’s future relationship with the OT’s. We will later inform of some 11-year-olds opinion on the matter.

And also the ill-advised and misguided, unprepared and bad futuristic calls being made these days.

l8r…

 

 

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Climate/Weather, Featured, Hurricane, Local, News, Opinions, Regional, TOURISM, Travel0 Comments

CARICOM press release

CARICOM extends condolences on passing of former Montserrat Chief Minister

 

 

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana)     CARICOM Secretary-General

CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque

Mr. Bertrand Osborne, OBE, OD

Ambassador Irwin LaRocque has expressed the Community’s condolences to the family of Montserrat’s former Chief Minister Mr Bertrand Osborne and to the Government and people, on his passing.   
 
Mr Osborne, who died last week Tuesday, served as Chief Minister of Montserrat from November 13th 1996 to August 27th 1997, a particularly difficult time in the island’s history during the height of the volcanic crisis.

Ambassador LaRocque, in his Message of Condolence to Montserrat’s Premier Mr. Donaldson Romeo,  lauded Mr. Osborne’s dedication to politics and the private sector, noting that his “heightened sense of social responsibility will long be remembered in his native land.”
 
“He will be remembered for his integrity, honesty and trustworthiness which has been acknowledged by all regardless of political affiliation. The Community extends its condolences to his wife Lystra, his children and the entire Osborne family and the Government and people of Montserrat,” the Message stated.

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Isaac forecast 2015-09-13 (THURSDAY) at 2.00 PM

Tropical Storm Isaac (Update)

by Bennette Roach

TS Isaac Image 2018-09-12

Isaac forecast 2015-09-13 (THURSDAY) at 2.00 PM

The National Disaster Preparedness Response Advisory Committee (NDPRAC) met today, Tuesday September 11th, 2018 to review Montserrat’s preparedness for Tropical Storm Isaac, which is expected to approach the Lesser Antilles late on Wednesday night, (chain of Islands from Grenada north to the BVI).

In a release from the NDPRAC it says: “The Antigua Meteorological Service (with responsibility for Montserrat) has placed Montserrat on a Tropical Storm Watch and expects the island to be affected by tropical storm force winds.”

“NDPRAC notes that there will be no air and sea access to and from Montserrat on Thursday, September 13th, 2018. Air access is expected to resume on Friday September 14th, 2018, weather permitting, whilst ferry operations are expected to resume on Saturday September 15th, 2018.”

Meanwhile, NDPRAC NDPRAC continues to advise that all residents and visitors secure their properties, businesses and livestock in preparation for the impending storm.

A further update is expected later today when from sources, it is expected they will advise a further downgrading of the storm, but no doubt plans except for schools, government buildings etc. will be firmly determined.

Funeral services for Bertrand Osborne

Meanwhile, funeral and burial plans for Hon. Bertrand Osborne former Chief Minister have been postponed to Saturday.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Climate/Weather, Environment, Hurricane, Local, News, OECS, Regional, Travel0 Comments

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