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Give us Petrojam

Massy Gas Products expresses interest in running state-owned refinery

BY ANTHONY LEWIS
Observer writer

Thursday, July 11, 2019

FREEPORT, St James — Massy Gas Products has disclosed that it has an interest in leasing the Petrojam Oil Refinery should it be divested by Government as was recently recommended in the report from the Christopher Zacca-led Petrojam Strategic Review Committee.

The committee, which carried out a review of Petrojam's operations, has recommended privatising the entity by long-term lease or shutting down refinery operations if no one is interested.

In the report, presented at a press conference recently, the committee pointed to increasing losses by Petrojam, high operating expenses, and Petrojam's inability to adapt to new fuel and environmental standards as some of the issues dogging the refinery.

Last Friday, chairman of Massy Gas Products Jamaica Limited Peter Graham, during a tour of the company's facility in Freeport Montego Bay with Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Fayval Williams, gave an early indication of the company's interest.

“I want the minister to remember, we just had a Petrojam review committee that gave some findings. We just want to let the minister know that the LPG terminal... when that comes up for discussion, minister, you have an entity who knows that business, who has run this one for over 25 years and we could do that (Petrojam), but that's a decision to be taken,” said Graham.

The enterprise committee also suggested that the Government should not conduct any upgrades at the refinery.

Additionally, the committee proposed that Petrojam should remain Jamaican-owned.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness had stated that the Government will be seeking the input of a wide cross section of Jamaicans before making a decision on Petrojam's future.

Holness noted that, while the Cabinet has gone over the report, no decision has been made on the company's future.

Massy Gas Products, formally Shell Gas, is focused on delivering quality LPG fuel to residential and commercial customers since 2006.

LPG or liquid petroleum gas, also referred to as simply propane or butane, is a flammable mixture of hydrocarbon gases used as fuel in heating appliances, cooking equipment, and vehicles.