Published On: Wed, Jan 30th, 2013

Isla urges government

WILLEMSTAD — Representatives of oil refinery Isla spoke with Premier Daniel Hodge; Minister of Finance, José Jardim and Minister of Labor, Sherwin Joespha about the pressing situation at Curaçao Refinery Utilities (CRU)/the BOO energy plant. The Isla urges the government to appoint a manager at CRU as soon as possible. The CRU is without a manager since the previous interim-cabinet dismissed the management team. Isla-spokesperson Kenneth Gijsbertha is pleased with the conversation with the three ministers. He spoke with Josepha about the red tape for temporary work permits. “Contractors are to wait a very long time before they are given a work permit for foreign workers. A turn-key contract was signed for the overhaul of the boilers. The Americans, who are to perform the work, are still waiting for their work permit. As a result they cannot start this work while the overhaul is necessary for an optimal production at the BOO”, Gijsbertha explained.

The largest obstacle is there’s no manager at the CRU. “The job cannot be done without management”, said Gijsbertha. “We requested the government to appoint someone as soon as possible.” According to Premier Hodge, as yet there are no concrete candidates for the position. He listened to the Isla’s concerns this morning. The measures to operate the CRU as efficiently and effectively as possible will be discussed internally.

Three Isla-employees have currently been loaned to the CRU. One is busy with the backlog on maintenance, the second is evaluating the human resource department and the third is working at the purchase department. His task is to check the processes. “It’s possible that the purchase processes cause a delay”, said Gijsbertha. The Isla-employees will stay at the CRU for another week. The question is what happens with the CRU afterwards, the Isla-spokesperson wondered.

Loss

Through the fault of the BOO energy plant the refinery incurred a loss of 1.2 billion dollars in the past five years. The Isla is currently operating at fifty percent of its capacity. The CRU is not providing the entire refinery with sufficient steam. The cat cracker is not operating at fully capacity either. The situation at the refinery is critical. “The CRU doesn’t have sufficient reserves. The consequences will be considerable if a production unit were to fail now. We need to solve this tricky situation as soon as possible.”

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