Archive for December, 2015

17 Stations involved in Bad Gas?

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

The Government of Jamaica has declined to name the 17 stations apparently involved in selling bad or contaminated gas. Instead the Jamaican Government has order the stations to shut down by midnight December 29, 2015 while the investigations continue. The stations are distributed in the following parishes of Jamaica, as indicated below.

  • Kingston and St Andrew - 7
  • Clarendon - 3
  • St. James - 3
  • Manchester - 2
  • St. Catherine - 1
  • St. Thomas - 1

In time it will become obvious which stations are involved.

The decision not to name the stations at this time is reasonable in our opinion. The government is refusing to blame the gas station operators for the bad gas until investigation conclusively point to either one of or a combination of the following:

  • Rogue services station
  • Poorly maintained tanks/delivery systems
  • Rogue Truckers
  • Rogue Contractor
  • Contaminated Imported Gas

Instead of the big stick, the government has effectively gone for “voluntary” shutdown. The problem is the source of the contamination has not been pinned down. Once the stations remove the bad stock, and ensure the tanks are okay, look for the service stations to resume normal operations.

What this latest issue has raised is that there clearly a lack of monitoring of quality of gas being sold to consumers. It is clear that no systemic random testing for quality assurance was being done.

Bad Gas in Jamaica

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

A week ago news broke in Jamaica about bad gas  affecting motor vehicles. I first heard of the issue while when I went to have my motor vehicle repaired at a dealer. There I overhead a conversation about cars in western Jamaica being affected by what by sound of things pointed to bad gas. Turns out it seems that the parish of St. Thomas has been worst hit with one garage operator claiming he has seen over 50 vehicles affected.

Long time issue?

The quality of gas has long been a concern at service stations. Al Edwards in an Observer article tackled the issue of fuel quality back then.  Neville Graham’s article in the Sunday Gleaner of December 27, 2015 carries the title there is “Big Business in Bad Gas“. The questions what has the government of Jamaica done to prevent this. In response the Governement launched a probe and today we begin to see hints of the findings.

How it damages

Fuel filters are found in the fuel lines of gas tanks and screen out dirt and rust particles from fuel.

“In these cars nowadays, the filter is really designed to last forever. It’s in the fuel tank, and it’s not something that’s supposed to be changed. They are very expensive because it is not something that happens every day (filter issues), and it’s all the newer cars that are affected,” Hudson said.

Yet at the end of the day motorists are left none the wiser as to which stations are affected. It is a tricky call to “name and shame” the gas stations as some have suggested. The problem is the gas stations might not be at fault as it might be the trucker/truckers that are responsible. Then again it might not be the truckers but it might be the source. Petrojam has said they are not at fault but gas is also imported by marketing companies. Until all the details are available it would be irresponsible to start blaming anyone.

The Gleaner however indicates from a copy of part of the report of bad gas that there are rogue gas stations are located in St Thomas, Kingston, St Catherine, Clarendon and St Ann.

Interesting RJR reports that  a service station in Morant Bay has refunded some of its customers affected by bad/contaminated gas. In another report a service station outside of Spanish Town is reported to have suffered over $800,000 losses when the gas it received caused the pumps to stop working. In that case it appears no gas was pumped into in motor vehicle.

My Advice would be

- Buy from a known marketing companies, Total, Rubis,Texaco, Epping,Petcom,Unipet

- Do not buy gas from any “Back door” service stations

- Do not but gas from anyone selling out of a drum…

Timeline

December 19, 2015 - News breaks in Media about Bad Gas

December 22,  2015 -  Probe ordered by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining

December 28, 2015 -  Report to be released tomorrow