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File photo of Rubis operations in Dominica (CMC image)

Rubis resuming sales in Dominica

May 15, 2023

CMC – The Barbados-based Rubis West Indies Limited says it will resume the sale of its products in Dominica on Monday, after suspending operations in September last year following claims that it was being forced to subsidize the local market for petroleum products.

“We are happy to announce that effective Monday, May 15, we will be resuming sales and I want to take this opportunity to thank the Honourable Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, also thank the Honourable Vince Henderson, (Minister of Renewable Energy) and the people in the Ministry of Trade,” said country manager, Nicholson Dodds.

Dodds had said last September that Rubis, which has operations throughout the Eastern Caribbean as well as Guyana, was” being forced to subsidize the market” based on the pricing system from the Ministry of Trade

“What I mean by that when you import a gallon of product, assuming that the landed cost here is ten dollars, the price build-up starts at let’s say nine dollars. So that for every gallon we are selling, even before the product gets to the market we are losing money.

“We have made repeated approaches to government, and government is quite aware of it. In 2021, the government made some concessions to us, and they promised they will get back to the table in the first quarter of 2022 came and we made several attempts to meet with the government, we wrote to the government, and we are still waiting,” he said then.

Dodds, speaking on the state-owned DBS radio, said he was happy with the outcome “of the constructive dialogue that we had over the past few months…so that we could have arrived at a meaningful resolution to this matter.

“As you aware we suspended sales on September 15 because we were experiencing some heavy losses and we promised that once amends were made to the price build-up and we can stem those losses we would return to the market.

“So I am happy to announce that those amends were made to the price build up and we are resuming sales,” he told radio listeners, “thanking the Dominican public for their patience while we suspended sales”.

File photo of Rubis operations in Dominica (CMC image)

While he gave no details of the new arrangement, last year, Dodds had noted that if a product is bought and the landed cost into Dominica is EC$10 (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) and “you have to sell it less than the landed cost, you are making losses even before the product get out there into the market.

“We are being forced to subsidize it. Petroleum product is a regulated product. We don’t fix the price, the ministry does. It is not a question that we are losing a dollar and we can say let’s increase it by a dollar, it doesn’t work like that.”.

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