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No gasolene shortage after fire at Petrojam

Published:Wednesday | August 16, 2017 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke
Fire truck leaving the Petrojam refinery along Marcus Garvey Drive in Kingston after putting out a fire there yesterday morning.

Customers of the state-owned oil refinery Petrojam have nothing to worry about, insists Latoya Pennant, the company's public relations officer, after a tank caught fire there early yesterday morning.

She said that routine delivery of petroleum products was not affected. Neither was there damage to altered Petrojam's delivery mechanism.

"We are open for business. The fire has not impacted our ability to deliver products to our customer base. In fact, while, we normally are not open for business on a Wednesday, we are today (yesterday), after the strike by tanker drivers on Tuesday," Pennant said.

Four units from the Jamaica Fire Brigade responded to the blaze after a tank caught fire at the Petrojam Refinery at approximately 4 a.m. yesterday.

The company said that it immediately activated its emergency-response plan, and the fire was extinguished by a joint team of firefighters from Petrojam and the fire brigade units.

Pennant said that Petrojam's top priority was the safety and health of its employees, the public, and the environment. "We wish to assure the public that all the necessary measures have been taken to prevent or minimise the impact of fire," she added.


Petroleum tanker drivers strike


The fire happened a day after petroleum tanker drivers took industrial action to express their dissatisfaction with several terms under which they are employed.

The drivers cited the lack of health insurance and poor union representation as their main bone of contention. The drivers have since returned to work.

Minister of Energy Dr Andrew Wheatley, meanwhile, is assuring the nation that there is no gas shortage. His comments come amid rumours of an impending gas shortage due to a fire at Petrojam.

"The fire was not to an extent that it impacted the supply chain," Wheatley said.

The minister, who visited the refinery yesterday morning, implored the public to not buy into rumours and said that there was no need to hoard fuel.