Sol Gives Back through the donation of fuel to the BDF

Sol (Barbados) Ltd. (Sol) stands by its commitment to the community in which we operate, especially during these unprecedented times. As such, Sol has partnered with the Barbados Defence Force by donating 11,000 litres of fuel (with a retail value of over BBD $28,000.00) in our continued efforts to fulfil our mandate to be a true friend of the community and to be a good corporate citizen in the environments where we all live, work and play, and this is especially true amidst COVID-19.

The Barbados Defence Force (BDF) has been facilitating the distribution of care packages to vulnerable households as part of the Government’s COVID-19 Relief Programme. Sol has provided fuel to assist in this endeavour.

In response to the donation, Chief of Staff, Colonel Glyne Grannum had this to say,

For many years, Sol Petroleum (Barbados) SRL has been one of the Barbados Defence Force’s (BDF) foremost strategic partners. Loyal to their mission, values and promise in the fuel industry, the Sol Group has continuously contributed to the BDF’s mobility on land and at sea. During our fight against the unseen enemy, COVID-19, Sol understood and demonstrated their ability to be a team player and in the true sense of nationhood, made a considerable donation to augment the BDFs capabilities.  As I continue to lead the Force, I am truly comforted to know that in the face of many unknowns, the BDF has the necessary partners and corporate support to be effective”.

Mr. Roger Barrow, General Manager of Sol Barbados reaffirmed the company’s commitment to the region, “We take our corporate responsibility seriously and are mindful of the vital role that our products and services play in ’Powering Journeys and Energizing Communities’ in which we operate. This is just our way of showing that we care and we will continue to support those organizations helping others when we can.”

Sol, the leading supplier of petroleum-based products and energy solutions in the region has championed various initiatives to provide contributions of over BBD$700,000 regionally towards supporting essential workers and charitable food bank organizations responding to these challenging times. We remain committed to further supporting our community, guided by our social investment pillars, education, sports, environment, and charities.

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Sol Barbados Supports Primary School Tennis

On the 15th February 2015, Sol collaborated will the Barbados Tennis Association to launch a Primary School Initiative. The genesis of the programme was to follow in the footsteps of The International Tennis Federation’s Play and Stay Programme which is a Global Programme to grow participation worldwide, by promoting tennis from the primary level, as an easy, fun, and healthy sport for all.
The three primary schools currently participating in the program are; Blackman and Gollop, Grantley Prescod Memorial and Luther Thorne. This partnership has allowed the children from those schools to benefit from the experience in a very tangible way, and allow them to acquire (from early) the skills required to play the game.
The end of term session which took place on Wednesday December 05 2018, was fun and enlightening, and was attended by the following persons:
Christian Maxwell – Coach – He coaches the children from the three schools in the Sol Programme.
Julian Baird  – Coach
Mr. Vanderpoole – Games Teacher
Roger Millar  – Manager/Coach – at the Wildey Tennis Centre – He assists with the Sol Programme
Sydney Lopez – Coach
John Goede – Regional Development Officer for the Caribbean
Morgot Thomson – School Tennis Coordinator
“The children thoroughly enjoyed the session. They had a great time, and were very proud to show me what they had learnt and how well they could play tennis”. – Quote from Mrs. Denise Mendes, Sale Executive – Retail at Sol Barbados Ltd

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Sol Rally Barbados Staff Launch

The Sol Barbados team kicked off Sol Rally Barbados in a major way with an epic ‘Get Ready for Rally’ launch at the Bushy Park Racing Circuit on May 9! The aim of our ‘Get Ready for Rally’ launch was to get our team excited for what would be an awesome Sol Rally Barbados season! Sol team members participated in a Go-Karting tournament along with lots of games including Jenga, virtual reality racing games and a rally-inspired
scavenger hunt! There was food, music, giveaways and overall, a good time was had by all. Huge congratulations goes out to Kevin Earle from the Engineering Department who was the winner of our Go-Karting tournament, as well as ‘Team Turtles’, who won the scavenger hunt!

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Sol Corporate Operations Team takes on Paintball

The Corporate Operations team began the year in full blast at the Paragon Base in Barbados. That location, typically known for military training, was the paintball turf for two teams, Commandos versus Five O. It was a cool Saturday afternoon on January 13th with very light cloud cover and a large obstacle course which included man-made and natural obstacles creating a lifelike war zone, ideal for the department’s first team building exercise in 2018.
There was no limit to the skill set of those in attendance; from procurement, to engineering, safety and even management to those with formal military experience. This experience however, was not enough to topple a series of planned games by the paintball organisers. Games included Capture the Flag, Hostile Takeover and Target Shooting; all team dependent but, some persons were more targeted than others. Regardless, it was certainly a fun and successful team event, where some walked away with more battle wounds than others. After paintball, the evening transitioned into a departmental lime with more fun and laughs bringing a great conclusion to the first team
building activity for 2018.

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Sol Barbados Supports BTA's Christmas Fun Day

In February 2015, Sol Barbados began a partnership with the Barbados Tennis Association (BTA), where students from Blackman and Gollop Primary School, Grantley Prescod Memorial Primary School and Luther Thorne Primary School have enjoyed weekly tennis sessions at the Barbados National Tennis Centre. The approximately 25 students in the programme, aged 7-11, enjoy tennis coaching from highly qualified, certified coaches Julian Baird, Kandia Shorey and Christian Maxwell.

The BTA hosts an annual, friendly, inter-school competition, where the students are able to meet and show off their skills. This year, local tennis superstar Darian King, and other members of the Barbados Davis Cup team, including Seanon Williams, along with Darian’s coach and brother, Christopher King, surprised the students, and even assisted with some of the coaching. Kudos to these young men for their involvement, and of course, much thanks to the Sol Barbados team for their continued support of the local tennis programme.

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Sol, the BNTCL Sale and You

What the proposed sale means for Barbadians
At Sol, our customers are our top priority and we have pledged our continued commitment to the communities we operate within. We  are committed to providing you with credible, easily-accessible information surrounding the proposed Barbados National Terminal Company Ltd. (BNTCL) sale.
We have thus far respected the FTC’s investigative process as it relates to the proposed transaction and now that we have received a final ruling, we are reviewing the FTC’s decision regarding the transaction to determine how best to move forward with our proposal to purchase the BNTCL. Below, we are sharing our views and addressing queries as they relate to the transaction as proposed.
1. Will Sol be able to import petroleum products after the privatisation of BNTCL? BNTCL does not import, own or sell any petroleum products — it merely provides through putting services (storage and transfer of petroleum products). Ownership of BNTCL would not allow Sol to influence or control the importation of petroleum products, because this is the responsibility of the BNOCL — a separate, government-owned entity. Sol has not requested any right to exclusively import products as part of the transaction nor does it intend to.
2. Would Sol’s ownership of BNTCL allow Sol to control the pricing of fuel products? No. The pricing of any fuel products is, and would continue to be, the responsibility of the Government of Barbados, through the Division of Energy. If the sale were to be approved, the Government would retain regulatory oversight and control the final pump price to consumers.
3. Would there be any increase for consumers at the pump, as a result of the proposed sale? If there is an increase it would be minimal. For consumers filling up on an average 45-litre tank, the proposed increase in throughput fees would translate into approximately BBD 0.02 (2 cents) per litre on gasoline and BBD 0.014 (1.4 cents) per litre on diesel at the pump. This means that four full tanks a month would result in an increase of less than BBD 5.00 per month to the average consumer.
4. What would be the government’s role in BNTCL after its sale? It has been stipulated in the sale and purchase agreement that the Barbados Government will be issued with a ‘Golden Share’ which would allow it to maintain some control over the use and operation of BNTCL in the interest of the Barbadian public. From the onset of the transaction, Sol has advocated for the regulation of BNTCL’s throughput fees. The Government of Barbados, however, would need to establish the necessary framework for such regulation of BNTCL’s throughput fees post-merger.
5. What structures would be in place to ensure that the current competitive landscape is maintained? Sol has suggested to the FTC (and is open to any suggestions from the FTC) to have conditions imposed on the merger which will address any competitive concerns pertaining to the transaction. Sol is willing to enter into binding agreements with the approved users of the BNTCL terminal and with the FTC in order to set definitive and fair operating standards to which the BNTCL terminal will be bound, and to ensure that all customers of the terminal, including Sol’s direct competitors, are adequately serviced on fair and non-discriminatory terms. 
6. How would the foreign exchange generated by this sale affect Barbados? The sale of BNTCL to Sol allows the Government to realise necessary foreign exchange to bolster a fragile foreign reserve position. As Barbados is currently below investment grade as a result of recent downgrades, an increase in foreign exchange reserves would help investors look more favourably towards Barbados as an investment destination.
7. Will Barbadians be allowed an opportunity to invest in BNTCL?  The sale of BNTCL allows the public of Barbados to participate with a 35% ownership interest through an initial public offering. Under Sol ownership, the BNTCL will be a public company and Barbadians can become investors in its business. This creation of a new public company is extremely significant as it would give Barbadians an opportunity to receive benefits as a result of the sale of the BNTCL.
Our dedication to this country remains steadfast and we will continue to look for ways to better respond to the needs of our most valued stakeholders – the Barbadian people. Sol is, of course, in the business of petroleum, but first and foremost, we are in the business of people.

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Rose PG Visits Barbados

On November 15, the Corporate Supply team toured the Rose PG—a new oil tanker which recently passed through Barbados. The Rose PG will be picking up product and shuttling it around the Caribbean to its various drop points. The vessel, which is the latest in vessel architecture and technology, was welcomed to Barbados by the Corporate Sol Supply team, who presented the crew with cake, gifts and other Sol-branded memorabilia. The Sol Supply team was then treated to a tour of the vessel by Captain Jakub Kujawski.
This new relationship with the Rose PG demonstrates Sol’s long-term commitment to the logistics of energy supply in the Caribbean. Presently, Sol has the most extensive supply network in the Caribbean, covering product supply from the US Gulf to South America.

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Sol proactively mitigating impact of Black Rock

Barbados: December 6, 2017 – SOL PETROLEUM (BARBADOS) SRL, (Sol) confirmed that the former employees of the Esso-branded service station at Black Rock are being reassured of the continued commitment of Sol in light of the recent management change at the service station. Word of this came from Ezra Prescod, General Manager of Sol Barbados, who asserted that Sol had been assured by the former dealer that all of the dealer’s employees would be satisfactorily compensated in an expeditious manner.
In the interim, Sol, the licensed distributor of Esso in Barbados, has been proactively seeking to find alternate placements for the majority of the staff. “We are in the process of contacting the affected employees of the former dealer and we are actively working with those who are interested in relocating within our network,” Mr. Prescod stated, adding that interviews with some of these employees are being conducted. He was pleased to confirm that alternate placement has already been given to some of the interviewees, and he reassured that Sol’s primary concern is the well-being of the staff.
“Because of the sensitive nature of the changes, we were sure to provide the former retailer of the station with notice in early October, ahead of the contractually stipulated 30-day notice period,” said Prescod.
As a result of the management change, the contracts of the former service station operator’s employees were concluded.  The General Manager also confirmed that they have reached out to the incoming operator who pledged to consider the current team members when staffing the renovated station.
The Black Rock Service station changed management on December 1 and has been temporarily closed to facilitate structural upgrades and essential maintenance in line with Sol’s Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Policy.
The site is scheduled to reopen on December 15, 2017. Sol thanked the members of the former management team and staff of Black Rock Service Station for their contribution to its operations.
Esso and the Esso logo are trademarks of Exxon Mobil Corporation and are used under license.

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Competitor not Disadvantaged

The Sol Group, (Sol) has expressed that the company’s proposed purchase of the Barbados National Terminal Company Ltd. (BNTCL) would not only be beneficial to the country, but that competitors would not be disadvantaged by the terminal’s privatisation.
Word of this comes from Regional Manager of The Sol Group, Roger Bryan, who addressed the Fair Trading Commission’s ruling that the proposed acquisition of BNTCL by Sol, could not be approved in its current form.
“From the outset of this bidding process, Sol has strongly advocated for the regulation of the throughput rate. We have pushed and will continue to push for this because we believe it to be in the best interest of the public, as well as any of our competitors,” stated Bryan. “The appointment of a government-appointed regulator would significantly alleviate concerns pertaining to any perceived dominant market position.”
He went on to state, “We completely understand the FTC’s position on the ruling because, simply put, the Barbados Government needs to create the necessary legislative framework that would support the privatisation of BNTCL, which would include, amongst other things, the appointment of a regulating entity or body over BNTCL post-merger.”
Addressing allegations that the acquisition of BNTCL by Sol, could potentially force competitors into foreclosure in the market, Bryan stated, “the acquisition of BNTCL would not place Sol in a position to force any competitor into foreclosure in the market, nor would we desire to.” He continued, “the terminal’s profit affords the minimum acceptable economic return, and it is unlikely that any company would be able to use these profits to force a competitor out of the market, particularly one with significant financial backing.”
He also added that the Government of Barbados, through its continued ownership of Barbados National Oil Company Ltd. (BNOCL), would continue to control importation rights of petroleum products in Barbados, and by extension, continue to regulate the price at the pump. “The BNTCL is a separate entity to the BNOCL, which controls the price, thus eliminating Sol’s ability to benefit from any perceived vertical integration,” Bryan explained.
When asked about the proposed 32% increase in the throughput rate, Bryan stated that even though the terminal’s expenses had continued to increase in line with inflation rates, BNTCL had not changed its throughput rates since its inception in 2006, resulting in sub-optimal economic performance. “The increase in throughput fees at the terminal would be required to satisfy a minimum economic rate of return on investment. This throughput rate has not been increased over the last 10 years, and the existing rates simply do not provide for any future investments necessary to maintain the safe, efficient functioning of the facility.”
“The proposed 32% increase in throughput rate would result in a nominal increase at the pump of about less than $5 more per month than what consumers pay today. In essence, the price at the pump will go up a bit, but so would the quality of the way the terminal is being run today,” asserted Bryan. “We are pursuing the purchase of BNTCL as a business investment and we want to be up front about that. However, we strongly believe that it is in the best interest of the country.”
Bryan further asserted, “Sol is a Barbadian company, first and foremost, and this very modest increase would help us run a state-of-the-art facility, and the proceeds stemming from the sale would help the government fund other much-needed projects and programmes.”
The petroleum company asserts that the sum offered for the purchase of BNTCL would inject some well-needed foreign exchange into the Barbados economy, at a time where the Barbados economy desperately needs the boost. Barbados’ foreign exchange reserves currently lie below the 12-week benchmark recommended by the Central Bank of Barbados.
The Sol Group of companies operates in 22 countries across the Eastern Caribbean, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Bermuda, Bahamas, Cayman, Belize Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Martinique and Guadeloupe. Sol supplies fuels, lubricants, bitumen and LPG through an extensive service station network, with marine, aviation and commercial operations.

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Sol Continues to Shine During the Solar Eclipse

On Monday 21st August 2017, Sol (Barbados) Ltd partnered with The Harry Bayley Observatory to distribute ISO 12312-2 certified safety glasses for the viewing of the Partial Solar Eclipse. These complimentary glasses were distributed at several summer camps, at some of the Sol and Esso branded service stations and at The Observatory. Campers, customers and viewers at the observatory were very happy to receive these glasses as they were able to safely observe this astronomical phenomenon. The Sol team also engaged in interactive sessions with the children at the summer camps where safety was highlighted and excitement was at an all-time high as the viewing period approached.

A solar eclipse is an astrophysical event in which the moon passes between the Sun and Earth and blocks all or part of the Sun for up to about three hours. In Barbados, the eclipse viewers were able to observe this phenomenon between the hours of 2:30pm and 5:00pm.

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