Fuel supplier Rubis’s control over the government’s fueling facility on North Sound Road is in question after Planning Minister Kurt Tibbetts announced the government’s decision to put the fuel supply contract out to tender.
Chevron-Texaco, whose retail petrol stations were bought by Rubis in 2012, held a 15-year contract that expired in 2011. Since then, Rubis has supplied fuel to the Department of Vehicle and Equipment Services facility on a month-to-month contract that was apparently transferred to the company following the sale of Chevron-Texaco’s interests.
Speaking at the Legislative Assembly on Monday, Minister Tibbetts said the contract would be tendered as soon as possible for all qualified parties.
“What obtains presently is that the 1996 contractual arrangement expired in 2011,” Mr. Tibbetts said. “I have met with Rubis. I have told them that they must not expect any similar arrangement which they had in the past with government and the whole situation will be going for open tender as soon as we possibly can.”
He said he had asked Rubis to determine the current depreciated value of equipment belonging to the company on the site so government could decide whether to remove, replace or retain the equipment.
Minister Tibbetts said the government is waiting on legal advice to determine whether it should instruct Rubis to remove the equipment.
“I say that openly because it ain’t no secret to them, so as soon as we possibly can, we will be creating the tender document to send it out for any qualified entity to bid on for the supplier,” he said.
Minister Tibbetts declined suggestions made during the finance committee debate that part of any new contract for the fuel distributor should also include providing equipment, such as tanks and pumps.
“I would much prefer for that to be our responsibility and really all they supply us is fuel,” he said.