WIOC and Rubis join forces to supply fuel to aircraft

- Advertisement -

A landmark deal has been signed between the West Indies Oil Company (WIOC) and Rubis to supply fuel to aircraft at the V C Bird International Airport.

On Thursday the two companies — represented by WIOC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Gregory Georges and Caribbean Representative for Rubis Mauricio Nicholls — signed the agreement at the Office of the Prime Minister in the presence of Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

WIOC’s CEO described the deal as historic, saying that “in the 55 years of operation in this market between Antigua and Dominica, we have not been in there providing fuel at the airport. Effective after this agreement is signed, we are now a joint player in the joint operation at the airport”.

Georges explained that the agreement took approximately nine to 10 months to hammer out because. according to him, “these joint operations agreements are very complex, they’re very technical, and it’s imperative that we try to ensure that both parties are fairly dealt with in these agreements”.

Nicholls shared similar sentiments saying that the length of time it took to cement the agreement between the French multinational fuel supply company and the West Indies Oil Company, conveys their intention to continue the arrangement for many years to come.

“Obviously, before you enter into a long partnership, you better spend the time to make sure that you understand exactly what you’re agreeing to because we’re going to be in there for the long haul and we need to have a very clear agreement.

“So, this partnership will make sure that both of us — Rubis and the West Indies Oil Company — will work together to make sure that the supply for you at the airport is reliable, is secure, is safe, and its uninterrupted. And this agreement will ensure that both of us will undertake jointly, the investments that are required to secure and supply fuel at the airport both for current demand and for future growth,” Nicholls shared.

Prime Minister Browne, during the signing, said that the 15-year contract is a part of a strategic economic move to establish a greater ownership of businesses with Antigua and Barbuda through partnerships with local and international companies.     

He said that apart from improved returns to local stakeholders, benefits also include “the transfer of skills, because we are now going to gain experience with a very solid business partner who is in the aviation business throughout the region”.

The fuel that will supply the aircraft will come from the plant on Friars Hill Road and the pipelines that run from the plant to the airport will be upgraded to ensure the supply of quality service to aircraft.

Georges added that all the expertise and training to ensure the professional operation of the business will be undertaken by Rubis, and Antiguans and Barbudans will be the ones trained to carry out the daily operations at the airport.

- Advertisement -