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Rubis Jamaica enters petrochemicals export market

Published:Wednesday | October 28, 2020 | 12:10 AM

Seeing an opening in the market, Rubis Energy Jamaica is now exporting petrochemicals on a commercial scale to countries in the region.

“We believe that the local chemicals and lubricant sectors are positioned for growth, despite the immediate impact of COVID-19,” said Head of Commercial Operations Troy Thompson.

“We have all had to define new ways of working, this includes recovery plans and to explore, in some cases, new markets and opportunities,” he said.

Outside of citing it as the first such exports for a country in the region, Rubis is not saying much about the size of the orders – noting only that the company had private and commercial contracts to satisfy.

The two shipments made so far this month were destined for Barbados, Peru, and Guatemala, Thomson told the Financial Gleaner.

“More shipments are in the pipeline. The company is in the demand forecast and supply planning mode and not yet in a position to speak to specified timelines,” he added.

The French-owned marketing company has one of the largest storage and petrochemicals handling facilities in the region at its Rockfort, Kingston base. The facility was previously owned by transnational marketing company, Shell, which pulled out of Jamaica in 2012.

Thompson says Rubis’ chemicals portfolio includes: acetone, mineral spirit, odourless mineral spirit, isopropyl alcohol, polyols, toluene, xylene, coolant and brake fluid. Petrochemicals such as acetone toluene and xylene are used as components in the production of everyday items such as paints, degreasers, solvents, pesticides, bedding, furniture, insulation materials and sanitary products.

He declined to say whether the chemicals in the shipment were manufactured in Jamaica or re-packaged for export.