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PM: New industrial estate coming

By INVERA ARJOON Monday, May 10 2010

PRIME Minister Patrick Manning has announced plans for the construction of an industrial estate which will house a brand new state of the art refinery.

He did not say where the new industrial estate will be located.

Manning made the announcement at the launch of his campaign in Mon Repos, San Fernando, on Saturday night, where he addressed a small crowd of supporters in his constituency.

He said the new refinery and the industrial estate will not only depend on crude oil, but will use crude oil as its food stock. Natural gas will also form another component of the project.

Manning said this concept was an interesting one which will “place TT on the cutting edge and will be the first of its kind in the world.”

The project will cost approximately US$12 billion and will take at least ten years to complete, he said.

The Prime Minister also noted that a new industrial estate off Otaheite was also being planned. For this project, which will be located at sea, some 100 hectares of land will be reclaimed.

“This means there is going to be deep water and once you have water in excess of 100 ft there is going to be the opportunity to enter into the ship repair and ship building industry,” he said.

“We are looking at that and we are working out the policy on exactly how we are going to proceed. The market is very lucrative and would put TT next to some of the most developed in the world.”

As he addressed his constituents, the Prime Minister boasted that the poverty rate in Trinidad and Tobago had fallen to below ten percent.

He said based on information available Government could now say that poverty in TT has fallen to below ten percent. He said due to “cash items” Government pass on to citizens by way of old-age pension grants and other grants and non cash items, such as the CDAP programme, those at the lower end of the economic ladder are enjoying a standard of living much higher than the standard their salaries could afford.

Manning said housing and crime were the major problems in TT.

He also admitted that squatting was a major problem and said Government was addressing this problem as he pointed to the relocation of residents from Mont Congo to Tarodale Gardens housing development.

Manning assured that residents of Train Line, in Corinth will be relocated soon to Debe, Golconda and Toradale Gardens.

He said the demand for houses far exceeded the supply and asked his constituents to be patient as more houses will be built in and around the San Fernando area in the shortest time possible.

Manning used the opportunity to boast about job-creation, saying Government created some 85,000 jobs since 2001. But he said they ran short of labour and were forced to turn to the Chinese to fill the shortage.

“That is likely to happen again...in the construction sector in the future as contracts will be open to international contractors.”

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