Rubis Caribbean’s multi-million dollar investment in Barbados is paying dividends, as it now controls almost half of the fuel market.
And the France-based international petroleum company’s stake could increase even further with its plans to build two more service stations on the island, Rubis’ chief executive officer Mauricio Nicholls had revealed.
Nicholls disclosed that the company’s market share had grown substantially by 64 per cent since relocating to Barbados in 2011.
“When we started in Barbados our market share for fuel was 28 per cent and last month our market share for fuel was 44.4 per cent, so we have grown our business quite substantially.
“These numbers come from the official fuel sale numbers of BNOCL [Barbados National Oil Company Limited], so we know exactly what our market share is.
“That has been as a result of the addition of new service stations to our network and we plan to continue to be along that same path with the two new stations we are adding and the two more that we are refurbishing.”
Minister of Commerce Dwight Sutherland paid a courtesy visit to Rubis’s headquarters at Welches, St Thomas, this morning.
The Rubis chief said that since building its headquarters in Barbados at a cost of $12 million, Rubis had continued to invest heavily in the country.
The CEO did not say where the two new service stations would be built, but he described them as “significant investments”.
He however noted that Rubis was awaiting permission to begin building the service stations which he hoped to be completed by the end of 2020.
Nicholls said: “When we started in the region in 2011 we had 12 service stations and now we have 17.
“We plan to add two more and of those 19 we plan to fully refurbish two of those existing locations, so that is a big investment as well.
“These are not small investments, these are investments that are significant.
“A brand new station is probably around $8 to $9 million and a refurbishment of a service station is probably in the neighbourhood of $3 million, so these are substantial investments.
“We are doing this because we are aware that we need to offer to the Bajan consumer a very good shopping experience when they buy their fuel and convenience store goods at our stores.”
Declaring that the calibration of its petrol pumps was extremely important, Nicholls said Rubis would be investing in technology to ensure that consumers got exactly the amount of fuel they paid for.