Approval has been given for the third bunkering company West Indies Petroleum (WIP) to commence operations in Jamaica. WIP now joins Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. and Petrotech Marine Petroleum Limited as the retail suppliers of bunker fuel to ships calling at Jamaican ports and transiting our waters.
WIP owns and operates a tug and a 1384gt barge and will also be using tanker wagons to supply fuel at ports across the island.
A recent study commissioned by the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ) with the assistance of the Commonwealth Secretariat, showed that 1.2 million tonnes of bunkers were supplied in 2011 and the direct value added to the Jamaican economy was US$6.8 million.
The study projects that bunker volumes will increase to 1.5 million tonnes in the next five years provided the Government put in place the appropriate legal and administrative framework, including a code of practice for bunkering, petroleum free-zones and other ship-related services, to attract vessels to call at Jamaican ports.
Bunkering and dry-docking are two of the elements of the Logistics Hub initiative being promoted by the Maritime Authority of Jamaica and it is expected that a fourth bunker supplier will enter the market in 2014.