Sat | Nov 18, 2017

GasPro upgrading MoBay terminal to tap into resort growth

Published:Wednesday | June 28, 2017 | 12:00 AMAvia Collinder

Massy Gas Products Jamaica, which distributes under the GasPro brand, is upgrading its Montego Bay liquefied petroleum gas or LPG terminal with an eye on new business in the expanding tourism sector.

The Massy Holdings subsidiary is going up against competitors IGL and Petcom for business as new hotel rooms are developed and visitor numbers climb.

Through the Freeport terminal in MoBay, GasPro imports gas supplies, but it also sources state-owned refinery Petrojam.

"The lower cost of LPG, compared to other fuels, urges more hotels and attractions to consider the fuel as energy source," said CEO Rohan Ambersley, noting that he expected demand within this sector to grow.

Banking on continued demand from this segment, the CEO said that GasPro "continues to invest in our terminal in Freeport and will be spending several millions on systems to improve safety and convenience for our customers".

GasPro estimates the size of the market for liquid propane gas in Jamaica at US$10 billion annually, and claims around 44 per cent market share. It reported revenues of more than $4 billion in 2016.

The hotel subsector contributes around $2 billion, or 20 per cent of the LPG market.

"More properties are using LPG for purposes other than cooking, as they, too have seen the benefits of its use in other areas such as laundry operations, pool heating, among other uses," said Ambersley.

GasPro is also targeting higher demand in the manufacturing sector.

The only market segment that is down is residential, following recent price increases that were driven by new consumption tax charges.

"Price increases have had a negative effect on demand," he said.

Ambersley said GasPro is experiencing year-over-year growth, but declined to state the degree of improvement. The company has been focused on cost containment and "managing our processes to improve efficiency," he said.

The company headquartered at Windward Road in Kingston employs more than 100 persons both directly and indirectly, and distributes through a network of 2,000 dealers.

For the current financial year, Ambersley said GasPro is exploring " investment in other areas of energy", but did not specify the targets.

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com