WIOC thrives through shareholders generosity

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The West Indies Oil Company (WIOC) has generated almost $20 million returns on its investment since government purchased majority shares in April 2015 but the company is grateful to some  shareholders, who generously refrained from collecting their dividends.
Gregory Georges, the Chief Executive Officer of WIOC told OBSERVER media yesterday that the profits are based on the $115 million investment made in upgrading and expanding the company’s facilities.
“The proof of the pudding is in the eating. We have delivered almost EC $20 million in dividend since they purchased the company and the shareholders have not taken their full profit, they have left something in the company for investment and we will certainly be making returns on that,” Georges said.
The CEO was quick to add that the profits are mostly from new services being offered to businesses outside Antigua and Barbuda.
“The good thing about those returns is that they are from new businesses and new services that we have introduced,“
He added: “By investing in the tanks, it has facilitated us to entering into the fuel industry where the product margins for bunkering are much higher than the local market.”
On October 14, 2016, WIOC entered into the bunkering services providing fuel to the cruise ships and cargo ships.
Georges said the monies spent will ensure the continuity of the company.
The expansion and upgrade included additional tanks, recommissioning of tanks, servicing the pipelines, staff training, and beefing up security to include additional lights on the compound.
The upgrades also include the removal of damaged and misshaped 20-pound and 100-pound LPG gas cylinders.
He said that phasing out of mangled bottles continues and there are plans in the near future to replace the metal bottles with a lighter alternative that is more durable in withstanding the weather.
“What we are doing now is spending heavily on upgrading our seaside facility where the oil is delivered. Right now, we have one berth and we are working on a second berth so that we can match what we have on the terminal side of the Friar’s Hill facility,” he added.
Meanwhile, WIOC currently offers 95 octane unleaded gas and Georges said it is not financially wise to expand to additional gas grades given the size of the market.
He noted that the gasoline offered meets market standards and is the same throughout the region, including St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Barbados and Dominica.

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