JIS News

President of the Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association (JGRA),Trevor Barnes, has said the Petcom Portmore petrol station is ready to introduce E10 (ethanol blended fuel), on November 1.
“In order to be ready, we had to ensure that the tanks were cleaned and free of all debris and water. We also ensured that the seals were in working order and that the manholes had proper run off and that sort of thing,” he explained in an interview with JIS News yesterday (Oct. 28).
The Petcom Portmore service station, will be the site of the E10 launch where Minister of Energy, Clive Mullings, will do the ceremonial turning of the E10 pump. Mr. Barnes has expressed delight that it is at his station where such a historical and important initiative will be launched. Several other stations will also begin official sale of the fuel on November 1.
“We feel very proud that it will be launched at our station. As you are aware when Petcom started years ago they were the first marketing company to introduce lower prices and some marketers have fallen in line and when it comes to the introduction of anything of significance, Petcom has always led the way,” he pointed out.
At the opening ceremony motorists and other patrons will also be treated to a customer appreciation day. “We will have a lot of giveaways on that day for our customers. We have gas giveaways,” Mr. Barnes revealed.
“We will also have a variety of contests that our customers can participate in as well as racing cars on display to show that a lot of racing cars in fact use E10 and even higher grades of ethanol gasolene. Our suppliers like Tropical Battery and Tru Juice will also have giveaways, so we have a fun filled day planned for our customers,” he further informed.
According to Mr. Barnes, another dimension of the Petcom Protmore station being ready is the capability of the trained staff to handle customer queries and impart relevant information to ensure that prospective customers have a firm understanding of the E10 fuel and its benefits and can make an informed choice.
“Our staff has been trained. Petcom has ensured that our staff went on training courses to make certain that our staff knows something about E10 so they will be able to tell customers whether E10 is compatible with their vehicles and so forth,” he informed.
“They will also be able to tell customers that E10 will in fact in some cases be even better for their vehicles than the 87 that they were using all along because it is also a cleaning agent and as such will clean their valves and that sort of thing. So perhaps in the near future they won’t have to buy fuel injector cleaners which will be very good for the motorist,” he added.
“We have had a lot of customers asking about E10, and we have been trying to educate them as best as possible that once their vehicle is from 1981 upwards they can use the E10 without any problems at all,” he noted.
In the meantime the JGRA President has said that he is looking forward to the launch and doesn’t foresee any major problems with the introduction of the E10.
“We don’t really expect any problems in the introduction but if any arise we are quiet ready. We know the steps to take if anything does happen and we are all pretty confident that it should be a seamless introduction,” he enthused.
Ethanol has been found to be the best fuel from renewable sources for the transportation sector, the most effective at increasing octane levels, and the cleanest fuel 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.
E10 or 10 per cent ethanol in 90 per cent 87 octane, will be introduced on a phased basis starting with service stations in Kingston, and other eastern parishes as well as parishes in central Jamaica. The roll out will continue over the first quarter of 2009, in western parishes, served by the Petrojam Montego Bay Terminal, which is currently under construction, and by April 2009, all motorists across the island will be receiving E10 in both 87 and 90 octane fuel.
Research conducted in 2006 by Petrojam, confirms that Jamaica’s road fleet is compatible with E10 blend, and that the fuel is workable for vehicles of all makes manufactured since 1981.