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Sol Group poised for further expansion

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Sol Group poised for further expansion

Unread post by bimjim » Sun Dec 20, 2009

http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2009/ ... expansion/

Sol Group poised for further expansion
December 19, 2009
By knews

Sol Group, the fuel conglomerate, which has been steadily expanding in the Caribbean, is poised for further growth this year. There are plans to invest wherever there is a feasible opportunity, according to General Manager of Sol Guyana, Mr Ken Figaro.

Figaro expressed optimism that by early next year Sol will take over and re-brand the Esso sites at McDoom and Regent Street. He revealed that re-branded sites at Ramsburg, Linden, Corriverton and Vreed-en-Hoop have already started doing exceedingly well.

The Sol Group, Figaro disclosed, was officially formed and began operations in February 2005, at which point it acquired Shell’s petroleum distribution and marketing businesses in the Eastern Caribbean, Guyana, Suriname and Belize.

Sol, he said, further acquired the Shell Company (Puerto Rico) Limited in August 2006 and made yet another purchase, this time that of Esso’s assets in Suriname and Guyana in November 2007 and in Haiti last year.

Last September, Sol was able to acquire Shell’s aviation businesses in Antigua, Barbados, British Virgin Islands (Tortola), St Kitts, St Lucia, St Maarten, St Vincent and Suriname.

It was less than a month ago, Figaro noted that Sol signed an agreement with Shell to purchase Shell’s Retail, Commercials and Aviation businesses in the Dominican Republic as well.

The move to acquire the various operations, Figaro said, is another step toward achieving Sol’s strategic objective of establishing a business presence in all of the countries in the Caribbean.

“Sol currently supplies fuels, lubricants, bitumen and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) through an extensive service station network and through its aviation, marine and commercial operations.”

The Sol General Manager said his company uses the Shell brand across its service station network and acts as the sole distributor of Shell’s fuels and lubricants which are fully backed by Shell’s world class technical expertise.

Following the purchase of Esso’s distribution and marketing assets in 2007, Sol Guyana Incorporated has since embarked on first, the de-branding of the eight ex-Esso service stations in Guyana and the re-branding as Shell sites.

This, according to Figaro, is in keeping with Sol’s licence agreement with Shell Brands International.

Sol’s retail network is characteristic of 15 sites with 11 being owned by the company and operated by dealers while another four are owned and operated by dealers.

“Our retail branded sites, though representing a relatively small percentage of the total local market, have the highest retail efficiency locally and one of the highest among the 14 markets and 458 Shell sites in the region.”

As a corporate multinational entity, Sol has the franchise for Shell to carry Shell lubricants and Shell branding, according to Figaro, who noted that not only is Shell one of the leading names in the fuel industry but it also carries the high quality of both product and service.

And to ensure that this high quality is sustained, Figaro disclosed that Sol’s operation still falls under the inspecting eyes of Shell officials.

“They come and inspect our network and ensure that we are keeping with their standards. Even if we don’t want it that is the way it has to be,” Figaro asserted.

And even as standard remains a priority, the General Manager said that keen attention is also paid to storage capacity.

Currently, Sol has the capacity to store just about 46,000 barrels of gasoline at its Ramsburg and Rome depots.
In addition, there are satellite storage facilities at Vilvoorden, Bartica and Providence at East Berbice. “We have well over 75,000 barrels capacity to store gasoline and 150,000 barrels of diesel. We have adequate storage.”

And in order to ensure that adequate stock remains on hand, Sol procures fuel at least twice per month, Figaro added.

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