JIS News

Energy Minister, Clive Mullings, on Saturday (Nov.1) has said that the launch of the E10 fuel is another indication of how talented Jamaicans are and how much they can achieve, when they remain focused and work together.
The Minister was speaking at the Customer Appreciation Day and ceremonial turning on of the E10 pump at the Petcom Portmore Service Station in St. Catherine.
“The launch of E10 gives me a tremendous sense of satisfaction not only because we are using a sugar cane-based fuel, but because Jamaicans all got together and did it. It wasn’t a situation where we had to call on foreign expertise, we took the product, we developed it, got it into the refinery. And so, today is a historic day and in that regard, I feel very proud,” he told the gathering.
“We must see ethanol, not just as an additive to gasolene, it’s far more fundamental than that. It means that, just as our Olympians took on the world, training here in Jamaica, and beat the world, so our people have worked together to beat the world again in energy,” the Minister stated passionately.
In addition to Petcom Portmore, E10, which is a blend of 10% ethanol and 90 per cent 87 gasolenes, will be available at Petcom service stations in Naggo Head, Braeton, and Angels also in St. Catherine, as well as Slipe Road in Kingston. Other service stations throughout Kingston have also begun to serve E10 to motorists. In this regard, the Minister is urging other marketing companies to come on board, and partake in the “liberation” of Jamaica from the world energy crisis.
“To the marketing companies, I implore them to get on board now. Petcom has taken the lead, because they were aware that this product does work, and people need a hope around which to galvanize their lives. It’s now time to get off the fence, get this product out there so people can start benefitting. Let’s liberate ourselves from the shackles of the energy crisis, which countries such as ours are suffering from,” Mr. Mullings appealed appealed.
Group Managing Director of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), Dr. Ruth Potopsingh, who also spoke at the function, emphasised that the introduction of E10 fuel to the Jamaican market is a monumental achievement, which will benefit the country for a long time.
“Today is a momentous occasion for the PCJ, Petcom, and Petrojam, (and) indeed, the entire nation. The introduction of ethanol as a transportation fuel is a milestone achievement. E10 sweet power, made from ethanol from sugarcane, is a catalyst for the development of other industries, especially the sugar cane industry,” she affirmed.
“The scope for production and the productivity improvements of the industry, employment, savings to our import bill, as well as savings to our own individual pockets, is a new beginning. The environmental and health benefits from using ethanol a renewable energy source cannot be disputed,” Dr. Potopsingh added.
Continuing, the PCJ Group Managing Director pointed out that “Petcom, being a wholly owned Government operation, has demonstrated a national commitment to consumer benefits. Petcom’s motto: “Service is our Strength”, has operated over the years with customer friendliness, high quality products and attractive, competitive pricing. Today we can say, with much pride, that we are trailblazers here with Petcom providing E10″.
Gasolene needs an octane enhancer, to increase the power of the fuel. Currently the octane enhancer in Jamaica’s gasolene is the petroleum-based MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether). However, as this additive will be phased out worldwide by 2010 for environmental reasons, Jamaica’s switch to clean, benign ethanol as its octane enhancer comes into effect some two years ahead of this worldwide schedule. Jamaica now joins a number of developed countries such as the United States of America, Canada, Sweden, and Brazil that use ethanol blended fuel.
E10 87 octane will be introduced on a phased basis starting with service stations in Kingston, other eastern parishes, as well as parishes in central Jamaica. The roll out will continue over the first quarter of 2009, in Western parishes, which will be served, when completed, by the Petrojam Montego Bay Terminal currently under construction. By April 2009, all motorists across the island will be receiving E10, in both 87 and 90 octane fuel.