Business

Total leaving Haiti but expanding in Jamaica

BY KARENA BENNETT
Business reporter
bennettk@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, May 18, 2018

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F rench-based oil company Total has dismissed claims that the company could be offloading its Jamaican business following the sale of its retail business in Haiti.

The sale agreement, which took place earlier this month, saw the Total Group selling its Haitian business to Bandari Corporation, a consortium formed by several local and regional major players.

While not disclosing the cost of the transaction, senior vice-president, Americas at Total Marketing and Services, Isabelle Gaildraud, noted that the transaction with local operators was aligned with the company's strategy of streamlining portfolio asset in the Caribbean.

The sale has since raised concerns about Total Jamaica's operation.

“No such thing. As a matter of fact, we are doing quite the opposite,” Total Jamaica's Network Director Howard Henry told the Jamaica Observer.

On Wednesday the company launched a new fuel, Total Excellium, to the brand's unleaded gasoline ultra-low sulphur diesel at all 57 service stations across the island. According to the company, Total Excellium is a fuel which cleans and provides long-lasting protection to engines by ensuring they perform better, use less fuel and produce fewer polluting emissions.

Managing Director, David Ducognon, in supporting Henry's remarks concerning Total's continued focus on developing the local market, said the company will also be looking to develop renewable energies in addition to launching Total Quarts Autocare Centre for oil change service at select service stations across the island.

“Today, Total is the world-leading company in renewables, and this is not only in solar. Total has an ambition to increase renewable electricity capacity by five gigawatts within five years by leveraging our expertise of our subsidiaries Sun Power, Total Solar and Total Eren,” Ducognon said.

He added that the company will be significantly investing in solar panels for at least 90 per cent of Jamaica's service stations by the end of 2021.

“Exciting days are ahead for Total Jamaica...we are proud to demonstrate the commitment of Total Group towards better energy sources in Jamaica,” the managing director continued.

Ducognon noted that through its commitment to be the partner of choice for motorists and general consumer, Total Jamaica has already started investing in training and development of its front-line staff at service stations and has also introduced the La Croissanterie restaurant in two of its service stations.

Plans are underway to expand the restaurant to three additional service stations by June.

“Very soon our customers will be able to access free WiFi in Total Bonjour shops,” he added, while expressing confidence that the initiatives will see the company moving further ahead in 2018

Total Jamaica Ltd, through the Total Foundation, said it will also continue to work with local partners towards promoting environmental stewardship, youth inclusion and education, road safety, and cultural dialogue and heritage.

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