SOL takes over Esso in Cayman, Caribbean

One of Cayman’s major fuel suppliers, Esso, has become a subsidiary of Simpson Oil Ltd. (SOL), a Barbados-based company.

SOL Petroleum Cayman Ltd. held its official launch party on April 10 at the Wharf restaurant in George Town.

“The Cayman market is very proud to be an integral part of the SOL marketing plan, and we want to grow with them, and at the same time give back to the community where we operate and live,” said SOL Cayman’s general manager Alan Neesome, who has 19 years’ experience working with Esso in Cayman.

“The SOL Cayman team looks forward forging new links with our customers with innovative customer service programs, which will enhance the customer experience at our service stations,” said Mr. Neesome.

SOL finalized the share purchase agreement with ExxonMobil, headquartered in Texas, and its affiliates on Jan. 1 for the purchase of its Caribbean businesses including: the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Dominican Republic and the Cayman Islands.

The takeover will not affect Esso’s brand presence, which will remain at the acquired retail locations.

“The Esso service stations will remain branded as Esso and will continue to sell Esso fuels,” said Mr. Neesome.

The only visible changes in respect to re-branding will be at the oil terminal on South Church Street, on the fuel trucks at the airport and on road tanker trucks.

The takeover comes shortly after the sale and re-branding to Rubis of the Chevron-Texaco-owned gas stations in the Cayman Islands.

Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce president Johann Moxam, said, “SOL petroleum Cayman Ltd.’s launch into the Cayman market is a significant development and solidifies an important supply chain for our islands.

“SOL’s ongoing future investment and involvement in the development of crucial infrastructure will help us to build a more modern an innovative society in which we will live and work,” Mr. Moxam added.

Future plans

SOL’s CEO and director, Gerard Cox, said the takeover “completes our strategic intent, which is to be present in all markets of the Caribbean.”

“We’ve longed to get in to the Western Caribbean and particularly to get into markets like the Cayman Islands, and we hope our efficiency in regard to supply is going to benefit the local population,” said Mr. Cox.

Mr. Cox said Sol will have the use of the Esso brand for “at least 10 years,” adding that the company has secured its fuel supply from Esso’s refineries off the Gulf coast, so the quality of fuel in Cayman will not be affected. “As far as the motoring public in Cayman is concerned, it’s pretty much business as usual,” he said.

Mr. Cox said the company plans to improve its market share position in the Cayman Islands by providing additional employment and investment.

During the launch, SOL donated $32,653 to the Cayman Rugby Football Union and $4,500 to Meals on Wheels, from the proceeds of Esso’s “Help us Help” campaign, which ran November to December 2013.

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