The French-based fuel storage and distribution company Rubis has announced plans for on an approximately $11 million investment here, which Chief Executive Officer Mauricio Nicholls described as “a firm commitment” to the Barbados economy.
Rubis will construct a state-of-the-art headquarters for the Caribbean in Welches, St Thomas, ending years of leasing at the Spring Garden location.
“We applied for Town and Country Planning approval in November. We got their approval last week and we want to build it very quickly. We are starting imminently, like in the next few days, and we hope that it will be finished by the end of April next year. So we can move in the building about May or June 1 the latest,” Nicholls told reporters last night at the company’s fifth anniversary celebrations at The Cliff.
“I think for any country any investment like that is very good. First of all it generates new revenue for the country; secondly, it generates employment during the time it is being built. So it is a positive contribution to improving the employment situation here in Barbados, and for us what it means is a firm commitment to staying here in Barbados for the long, long term.”
Since it began operations in 1990, the French company has opened over 230 service stations across 16 territories in the region; operates at 17 airports, and has hundreds of commercial customers. The company currently has over a dozen service stations in Barbados.
Rubis is also carrying out an approximately $3 million upgrade at its Map Hill location, which is expected to open next month.
In addition, Nicholls said the company added a number of upgrades to its Barbados operations over the past five years to the tune of about $100 million.
Pointing out that the Caribbean represents about 60 per cent of its global volumes in sale and 50 per cent of its global earnings, Nicholls said the region was a very important market for Rubis.
He said he anticipated that the company would continue to add jobs as it continues to grow its operations here.
Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler welcomed the company’s investment in Barbados, saying it showed Rubis’ commitment and confidence in the local economy.
The investment includes furnishing of the building, as well as the construction to be undertaken by C.O. Williams Construction Company Ltd. (MM)