Tuesday, 13th February, 2018 –Prime Minister Gaston Browne recently hosted a courtesy visit from the top Management of Shell US Trading Company.
Also in attendance at the meeting was the CEO of the West Indies Oil Company Limited Gregory Georges; Chief Operations Officer, Sharon Thomas; and Chief Financial Officer, Carton Bramble.
The visit came on the heels of a meeting with the Antigua and Barbuda Port Authority, which discussed the operations thus far and the port modernization project which was recently unveiled.
During the meeting, the Shell officials briefed the Hon. Prime Minister on the progress of the bunkering of cruise ship operations in Antigua, now in its second year. The business is said to have grown significantly and Shell and WIOC are exploring options to facilitate future growth and improve coordination among the various stakeholders. Both WIOC and Shell representatives conveyed the message that Antigua must position itself as a bunkering hub in the region offering a range of services superior to our regional competitors.
According to the Gregory Georges, CEO of West Indies Oil “WIOC has plans to make additional investments in the seaside infrastructure which will ensure an enhanced delivery of superior services to their cruise ship customers.”
During the meeting, the Prime Minister congratulated WIOC for their success during the last month. It was announced that for the Month of January WIOC Antigua and Barbuda provided 210,000 barrels of fuel to cruise ships.
The Prime Minister indicated to the visiting multinational company that his government views the bunkering business as a strategic pillar in its plans to transform the St. John’s port to become a key economic driver for the country. The planned infrastructure enhancements will contribute to the diversification of the energy portfolio and improve resiliency to disruptions caused by natural disasters.
PM Browne stated that his government is ready to partner in the required investments with Shell and WIOC via the National Assets Management Company (NAMCO) for the obvious benefits it can yield for the national economy.
Additionally, discussions focused on how further efficiencies could be driven in the bunkering business to enhance the quality of service being offered to the Cruise sector and in particular, modernizing the current operations.