Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Rubis fuel tester to strengthen product integrity

Published:Wednesday | April 13, 2016 | 4:00 AM
Raymond Samuels, retail manager of Rubis Energy Jamaica.
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A device to test the quality of gasolene sold at its pumps is meant to differentiate RUBiS Energy Jamaica from its competitors, the marketing company says.

The affirmation skirted a direct response to a Wednesday Business query on whether it introduced the portable tester in response to the contaminated fuel that had seeped into Jamaica's gasolene networks, leading to the temporary shutdown and clean-up of some gas pumps at 17 service stations nationwide.

Having touted RUBiS Jamaica's various initiatives since its market entry, Retail Manager Raymond Samuels said: "Our recent introduction of portable digital fuel testers is therefore part of our ongoing strategy to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace by raising the bar, and to ensure that our customers get the

highest fuel as we further strengthen the integrity of our products and the supply chain."

The French-owned marketing company said the testers, which are commonly used in refineries and fuel terminals, will allow on-site testing across the RUBiS network of service stations nationwide.

The device delivers test results within seconds and is said to be 99.999 per cent accurate. It can store more than 1,000 tests results, allowing users to compare various samples, RUBiS Jamaica said.

"The usual procedure for quality assurance testing would include transporting fuel samples to the RUBiS lab located at our storage plant," said Samuels in an earlier statement. "However, with this advanced equipment, we will be able to conduct on-site tests at our service stations and have the results delivered within seconds," he said.

In December last year, the Jamaican Government launched an investigation into reports that several petrol stations were selling contaminated gasolene, which many motorists said had caused damage to their engines.

The Bureau of Standards Jamaica subsequently ordered gas pumps at 17 service stations closed following tests which found that contaminated fuel was being sold at 26 stations across Jamaica.

Last month, the Consumer Affairs Commission gave motorists up to April 8 to submit claims for compensation.

In mid-March, Minister of Energy, Science and Technology Dr Andrew Wheatley indicated that the interim report on the contaminated gasolene, which was prepared by the specially convened Petroleum Trade Reform Committee and submitted to Cabinet earlier that week, was inconclusive.

"Notwithstanding the inconclusiveness of the interim report, I have issued a directive to have a full report completed and made available to me in the next four weeks," said Wheatley.

"In keeping with the public's anticipation of a clear determination as to culpability and the Government's commitment to openness, transparency, and accountability, I wish to assure the public that no effort will be spared in strengthening and fostering greater accountability on the part of all of the persons in the chain of custody as fuel is transported from sea to pump."

mcpherse.thompson@gleanerjm.com