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Petrojam said no bad gas found at facilities

Published:Wednesday | January 6, 2016 | 1:00 AM
File Jamaica purchases PetroCaribe oil through state refinery Petrojam.

Petrojam's General Manager Howard Mollison is claiming that the company's certification protocols are in accordance with the Government of Jamaica's requirements and international industry best practices - the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM).

Mollison made the comment yesterday as he moved to shrug off suggestions that the state-owned entity has been distributing bad gas to marketing companies.

Petrojam was last Thursday issued a stop order by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica to cease sales of motor gasolene from the Montego Bay Loading Rack, pending completion of its investigation into the alleged high unwashed gum content in fuel taken from two tanker wagons at the facility.

"I wish to highlight that Petrojam is not exempt from the requirements of the laws of Jamaica, and as such, we complied with the stop order. We, however, contested the order on the grounds that the samples were not taken from Petrojam source tanks, but from the two tanker wagons that were previously loaded at the rack and afterwards manually additised by the petroleum marketing company," Mollison said.

ORDER WITHDRAWN

He added that upon completion of their investigation, there were no adverse findings and the stop order was withdrawn.

Petrojam is a subsidiary of PetrÛleos de Venezuela and the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica and is the primary petroleum products supplier in Jamaica.

Robert Montague, the opposition spokesman on energy, has questioned the basis on which Petrojam's facility was allowed to be reopened.

The authorities late last month ordered pumps at 17 service stations to be closed as a result, in the wake of reports, of bad fuel being sold by at least 26 stations across the island.

Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell has since appointed a private sector-led committee to undertake a comprehensive review of the petroleum trade in Jamaica and to make recommendations to protect the integrity of the trade.

The committee, chaired by engineer Noel daCosta, is mandated to examine and review the protocols and regulations governing the trade and to act as an impartial arbiter in the investigations being undertaken to identify the source, nature, and susceptibility of the locally distributed petrol to contamination and illegal activity.