It’s almost a done deal.
Nine months after Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler announced the sale of this island’s lone oil terminal to a private entity, the name of the potential buyer has been formally announced.
In a statement today, the state-owned Barbados National Oil Company Ltd. (BNOCL) revealed that it had signed an agreement with the SOL Group for the sale of its subsidiary, the Barbados National Terminal Company Limited (BNTCL).
Under the agreement, BNOCL will continue to source, import, own and distribute gasoline, diesel and fuel oil to all local marketers, and it is assuring local consumers that they will be able to access their products as before.
“Prices at the pumps will only change in accordance with the price of imported products as is currently done,” the oil company’s added in its statement.
However, the deal is still awaiting regulatory approval, and is therefore not due to be completed before the first quarter of 2017.
So far no sale price has been given. However, back in April, 2016, Sinckler had reported that the sale of the oil terminal was almost complete with Government simply “waiting on the cheque” to finalize the deal.
At the time Sinckler would neither name the buyer nor give details of the sale. However, the local Fair Trading Commission had said that even though it did not regulate BNTCL, it intended to look into the proposed oil deal, since it had the potential to put the buyer in a dominant market position.
“We are doing the initial investigation on the matter, but we realize that negotiations are still ongoing at this stage,” the FTC’s Chief Executive Officer Sandra Sealy told Barbados TODAY last July. However, since then nothing further has been forthcoming from either Sinckler or the FTC on the matter.