On January 3rd, RUBiS Energy Jamaica Limited (REJL) welcomed the October 2021 installed Ambassador of France His Excellency Olivier Guyonvarch, with a tour of its Rockfort, Kingston facility. The visit by the Ambassador comes on the heels of the French-owned petroleum marketing company RUBiS International’s acquisition of 80 per cent of France’s leading independent solar energy company, Photosol.
The leading international fuels, chemicals, and lubricants company in Jamaica, RUBiS, is making plans to increase its local footprint; and the growth of French businesses is high on the agenda of the Ambassador.
Guyonvarch believes that France and Jamaica have a lot to learn from each other and that France can be a valuable partner of Jamaica especially in the areas of renewable energy and infrastructure. “Not only traditional energy, but new energy is of importance to Jamaica… There are quite a few French companies contributing to improved infrastructure also,” says the Ambassador. Processes that promote low carbon emissions are also high on Guyonvarch’s agenda.
RUBiS’ participation in the local economy is among other notable French interests including Jamaica Infrastructure Operators (JIO), operators of the Highway 2000 East-West corridor, and “Paradise Park” a 51.5 MWp PV farm based in Westmoreland, Jamaica – the largest solar farm in the English-speaking Caribbean supported by the French Development Bank.
The Ambassador asserts his belief that bilateral cooperation in the field of [renewable] energy is important for Jamaica along with education and culture. He is eager to support local French operators and their interests, so understanding what they do is a priority for him. “I need to understand what the companies are doing, meet the people so that I can better understand what I can do to help in the future,” he adds.
Chief Executive Officer at REJL, Alain Carreau, is excited that the French ambassador is keen on understanding RUBiS’ operations. “The ambassador has a keen interest to be involved in the business and to support the French operators in Jamaica. We are happy to have hosted the ambassador and look forward to deepening our ties with the Jamaican people.”
A rather affable personality, it is no surprise that the ambassador is also focused on cultural exchanges. “What is special about RUBiS is the fact that they have been giving back a lot to society. They are funding educational programmes including but not limited to Art, contributing to the creative artwork in Downtown and funding tuition fees for tertiary students so they can find their passion and employment, and this is really important to the French government,” he continues.
His Excellency Olivier Guyonvarch, who spent quite a bit of time in RUBiS’ laboratory, learnt of the processes that base and finished products go through before they move to market. Over the years, the company has conducted arduous testing of its lubricants and chemicals to ensure consistency in the quality of products ahead of retail and commercial distribution. RUBiS is the only main fuels marketer that has its own laboratory for the benefit of the end-user.
REJL’s Director of Operations, Wayne Fraser, explains that RUBiS is equipped with the most efficient method of testing internationally. “We have greater control over the quality of our products as we import, store, blend, test and sell the products we brand.” Fraser also shared that though impacted by the pandemic, REJL remains strong. “The service stations remained opened throughout the pandemic and the business is looking to grow.”
After working at the helm for nine years, Carreau is proud of the accomplishments of the company and the plans for growth. “The future looks bright for RUBiS and because our business supports the Jamaican people, it is our hope to continue to work with our communities across Jamaica,” says the CEO.
The RUBiS Group has committed to reducing carbon emission discharges from its operations by 20 per cent come 2030 through its diversification in renewable energies. These plans are in alignment with Jamaica’s target of achieving 33 percent of electricity generation from renewables by 2030 and 50 percent by 2037.