Published On: Fri, Dec 7th, 2012

Fierce battle for power in Curacao Refinery

WILLEMSTAD – The government has requested legally advice to dismiss the entire Board of Directors of di Refineria Kòrsou (RdK) (the public company Curacao Refinery). This was announced by the Minister of Finance José Jardim during a press conference.

It seems that there is a power struggle between the board members who were appointed by the previous government (Former Prime Minister Schotte) and the sole shareholder of the company, the current Interim Government. According to Jardim, the Board made the decision on Wednesday to suspend interim director Herbert Mensche for the period of two months, which is straight against the decision of the shareholder. The government, the sole shareholder of RdK, had namely chosen Mensche for the period of three months to lead the company.

“There is a great lack of synchronization between the shareholder and the Board,” according to Jardim who considers that the Board of RdK does not act in favor of the company.

Remarkably, President of the Board, Mr. Oswald will also be dismissed as a member of the board of utility company Aqualectra. So the Minister of Finance announced during the press conference. Yamil Lasten, Director of Curoil who was also a member of the Board of RdK, already resigned as member of that board.

That confirmed by Lasted yesterday. According to the Curoil director his resignation had nothing to do with the friction between the shareholder of the public company and the Board. “My resignation is purely because of personal reasons,” Lasten said. Previously Jardim already announced that he had requested an advice from the Foundation Office Supervision and Standards Government Entities (SBTNO) on the dismissal of Board president Van der Dijs.

There were doubts as to the operations of Van der Dijs. His possible resignation, and that of other members of the Board, were to be discussed at a General Meeting of Shareholders on December 14. This is the reason why the Board acted quickly and suspended Mensche on Wednesday. The Interim Director had called the meeting of December 14 and according to the Board he was not entitled to do so. Other arguments for the suspension was that Mensche was following instructions given by Jardim and that he refused to sign the employment agreements submitted by the Board.

Mensche objected these agreements, particularly with regard to compliance with former decisions made by the Board, in particular on the turnaround of the BOO by CRU and the appointment of the management team. Jardim, who took note of the various arguments of the Board for the suspension of Mensche, said: “ As Government you need to spend time solving real problems and not problems created by others. This problem is created the Board.”

Image: Oswald van der Dijs

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