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JGRA demands explanation for Petrojam breaches

JGRA President Gregory Chung
 
Shocked by a report from the Auditor General's Department which outlined several breaches and raised questions about Petrojam's fuel pricing mechanism, the Jamaica Gasoline Retailers' Association (JGRA) is demanding answers.
 
The audit revealed that there was no indication that the weekly decisions about pricing were always transparent.
 
The JGRA had previously raised concerns about Petrojam's pricing mechanism.
 
JGRA President Gregory Chung says it is now time for a clear explanation. 
 
"We are concerned that this market adjustment feature should be more transparent and we are calling on our energy minister, the Prime Minister, to act swiftly and bring some easily understood clarity to this formula," he said.
 
The JGRA has also joined the call for a forensic audit of Petrojam.
 
Mr. Chung said the reported loss of products worth billions of dollars is troubling and needs to be cauterised immediately using whatever measures necessary. 
 
The Auditor General has reported that Petrojam was unable to account for about 40 per cent of the oil it uses.
 
Mr. Chung said the JGRA will be seeking to meet with Prime Minister Andrew Holness to discuss its concerns.
 
Meanwhile, the Auditor General found that aging refinery infrastructure, production downtime and limited storage capacity contributed to Petrojam's inability to maximise its refinery operations, to meet customer demand. 
 
Although Petrojam reported that the yield from imported crude oil averaged 94 per cent, refinery production over the last five years, averaged 7.4 million barrels each year, representing 56 per cent of  the annual total production capacity of 13.1 million barrels.
 
According to the Auditor General, this could only satisfy 49 per cent of the oil refinery's customers' demand for 15.2 million barrels. 
 
To ensure the availability of petroleum supplies, Petrojam relied on imported finished products to meet the shortfall, which averaged 7.8 million barrels annually.
 
Petrojam's core business involves importing crude oil and converting it to finished products such as, heavy fuel oil, diesel, gasoline and kerosene.
 


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