RUBiS enters petrochemical export marketWednesday, October 28, 2020
RUBiS Energy Jamaica Limited recently dispatched the island's first export shipment of petrochemicals — a move which sees the country becoming the first in the region to undertake such a venture due to its terminal and storage infrastructure.
The company this month also commenced regional distribution of its petrochemical products to the international market. Petrochemicals are used as feedstock in the production of everyday items, such as paints, degreasers, solvents, pesticides, bedding, furniture, insulation materials, and sanitary products.
RUBiS is said to be one of the largest petrochemical suppliers in the region.
“This is a groundbreaking moment for RUBiS and Jamaica's export market as we expand our footprint to Latin America and the Caribbean region with the first shipments of petrochemical products,” a company news release quotes Troy Thompson, head of commercial operations.
“We are excited about RUBiS's entry in the export market as it positions Jamaica as a commercial-scale supplier within region — a major accomplishment considering that we are in the middle of a pandemic. We also continue to support the local manufacturing industries by providing products which are essential to the continued viability of so many industries, something we are very proud of,” he added.
According to 2018 industry reports, the global petrochemical industry was valued at approximately US$539 billion, which, at the time, was also expected to see a compounded annual growth rate of five per cent over the forecasted period.
Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters' Association President Richard Pandohie, in lauding the move, underscored the impact of exports on national development along with the key role it plays in sustaining wealth creation, generating employment opportunities and providing foreign exchange earnings.
He also reiterated the need to diversify the economy, a need which he said has been magnified amidst the negative fallout resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. “Manufacturing and export,” he argued, “must form an intrinsic part of our economy” as the country cannot continue to be over-reliant on the services sector.
Referring to statistics from an impact survey undertaken by his organisation, Pandohie said that there were both challenges and opportunities to be derived from the pandemic. He therefore urged manufacturers and exporters to make bold steps in capitalising on increased demand in new markets.
“There are a number of free trade agreements under which exporters can trade duty-free, and it is important that we take advantage of these opportunities and begin realising the benefits for our citizens,” he said. “Close to home, Caricom should be viewed and operate as an extension to our domestic market. Jamaica has a relatively small domestic market, which means we must always be looking outwards to expand and grow,” he said.