Minister warns stations to ‘take stock’ of equipment maintenance
In the wake of an investigation into the local fuel supply system, Cayman’s planning minister warned local petrol stations that they need to “take stock” when it comes to equipment maintenance.
Cabinet Minister Kurt Tibbetts told the Legislative Assembly last week that he had already been made aware of some of the results from the review of the fuel supply system operated by the two major oil suppliers in the Cayman Islands.
“In the tests, the level of dirt and everything that’s in there simply tells us that, in most instances, the [fuel] tanks are not being maintained properly,” he said. “They must realize that when it comes out of the pump and the consumer says that RUBIS or Esso or whoever sells bad gas, that it doesn’t mean that bad gas has arrived in the country.
“It is simply that the tanks that hold the gas cause the gasoline or the diesel to be contaminated by the time it reaches the consumer.”
Chief Petroleum Inspector Duke Munroe said his office expects to announce the results of its review soon, but he declined to comment on Mr. Tibbetts’s statements in the Legislative Assembly.
Mr. Tibbetts said local fuel stations should take stock of their equipment and procedures.
“We are already looking at amending [legislation] to ensure that these entities do what should be done by way of having regular inspections and having all of their equipment kept in a manner that doesn’t cause for all of these things to happen.”
The Petroleum Inspectorate began its investigation into claims of poor fuel quality in Grand Cayman following several complaints about cars stalling out or failing after fueling up.
“Our current focus is on gasoline for the retail network [gas stations] that is imported through the current established channel, which is via the two major oil companies,” Mr. Munroe said.
“Callers did indicate their vehicles sustained damages which they [referring to the callers] claimed/indicated was attributed to fuel quality issues,” Mr. Munroe said. “We are currently investigating. It entails verifying the fuel speculation of the current stock, identifying possible sources of local contamination and also reviewing the integrity of fueling equipment at the gas stations.”
Dustin Kersey of RUBIS-Caribbean said there has been a lot of discussion about local fuel quality in Cayman of late and that some of the “discussion points” were misleading.
“RUBIS fuels distributed and sold in the Cayman Islands are sourced in the United States Gulf Coast area, and the RUBIS technology has U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approvals,” Mr. Kersey said. “RUBIS does not use any additives or components that are prohibited in the U.S.
“… Our Ultra Tech gasolines meet the top tier cleanliness standards and provide significant protection against harmful deposits and maintain the engines’ running at their highest level of performance.”
Esso Country Manager Alan Neesome said Esso does not reveal proprietary fuel formulations, but said the company does use certain additives in its convention gasoline to boost octane performance.
“The fuels that Esso imports into the Cayman Islands meet or exceed all original equipment manufacturers recommendations for octane, including those for premium octane quality requirement vehicles,” Mr. Neesome said. “Esso’s fuel grades meet these requirements and are suitable for vehicles of any age.”