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JIS News

Motorists queued up in bumper to bumper-like fashion on Saturday (Nov. 1), to give their vehicles a first taste of “sweet power” E10 fuel, which the Ministry of Energy, and the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), officially launched at the Petcom Portmore service station in St. Catherine.
“Our customers are enthusiastically welcoming E10. Everybody who comes in wants E10, and we have been dispensing more fuel than usual, so we are hoping the trend continues,” said Station Operator of Petcom Portmore, Trevor Barnes, in an interview with JIS News.
A customer service attendant said “a customer… came back.. and said that he liked how the gas was treating his vehicle, and his vehicle is a older model. Most of them have said that they like that it (E10) is efficient and that the cost is good for them”.
Taxi Driver, Renford Richards, was among those who welcomed the reduced cost, as the E10 was being sold for $60.95 per litre.
“I heard the advertisement,.. I’m a taxi driver, and I use gas every day. So if this can save me some money, I am willing to give it a try. I will see what happens now. I don’t think they would have introduced it, if it was going to do harm to the vehicles,” he argued.
Another motorist, Michael, who owns a Suzuki Grand Vitara, told JIS News that: “I expect it (E10) to save me some money. And the reason I came to buy gas… is because the tank is basically on empty. If it works out well, I will be buying it more often”..
The E10 fuel will also be available at Petcom service stations in Naggo Head, Braeton, and Angels in St. Catherine, as well as Slipe Road in Kingston.
A number of dealers were present at the launch, displaying vehicles that are compatible with the E10 fuel, and whose representatives were on hand to answer questions about older model vehicles. These dealers included: Mitsubishi Motors, Fidelity Motors, Stewart Motors, ATL Motors, GM Challenger, Newline Motors, Executive Motors and Progressive Motors.
Gasolene needs an octane enhancer, to increase the power of the fuel. Currently the octane enhancer in Jamaica’s gasolene is the petroleum based Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE). 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 global schedule.
Ethanol has been found to be the best form of renewable fuel for the transportation sector. It is regarded as the most effective at increasing octane levels, and the cleanest and safest for the environment. Made from sugar cane, ethanol is produced locally, and thereby enhances Jamaica’s thrust towards energy diversification, and the opportunity to reduce its foreign exchange expenditure on fuel imports.