On the eve of its 100th anniversary in operation in Jamaica, GB Energy, under its Texaco Jamaica franchise launched Autogas, which utilises liquid petroleum gas (LPG) as a fuel source for motor vehicles.
The launch, held on Friday, October 5 at the Texaco Service Station, 27 Half-Way-Tree Road in Cross Roads, St. Andrew, marks the end of an eight-month experimentation project as the company plans to pump some $700 million into Autogas for the next two years.
LPG, a staple in the domestic food and heating markets, will now stand as a viable alternative to gasoline, once the appropriate conversion practices have been completed.
The switch may be costly at first for some customers as the price for conversion from gasoline to LPG averages $200,000 – but would be gradually offset as LPG costs up to 50 percent less that regular fuel at the pumps.
Speaking at the launch, Prime Minister Andrew Holness lauded the GB Energy group’s innovation – using the opportunity to encourage similar private sector entities to take calculated risks in providing more options to Jamaica in its search for cheaper and more sustained energy security.
For his part, Chief Executive Officer for GB Energy Texaco Jamaica Mauricio Pulido said that Autogas will revolutionise the domestic car market, as it has done in numerous countries such as South Korea, Italy, Poland, Turkey, Austria and Caribbean neighbours the Dominican Republic – for which up to 60 percent of their cars run on LPG fuel.
President of the Jamaica Gasoline Retailers’ Association (JGRA) Gregory Chung fully endorsed Autogas, saying, “The launching marks another milestone in the petroleum industry in Jamaica that we should all be proud of.”
By Gavin Riley