KINGSTON, Jamaica – Approximately 380 motorists whose vehicles were affected by “bad gas” in 2015 will benefit from a compensation package valued at J$24.5 million.
This was revealed by Energy Minister Fayval Williams who told reporters on Friday that Petrojam Ethanol Limited (PEL) had paid over the funds for the settlement to the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC), which will begin the payments shortly.
The CAC has already started contacting persons who have been successful in their requests for compensation, to finalise the payment process.
Only persons who had filed claims that were approved by the CAC will receive compensation.
Williams said that the Government has put measures in place to prevent a recurrence of consumers receiving contaminated fuel, including a testing complaint regime.
She noted that in 2019, the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) and the National Compliance and Regulatory Authority (NCRA) collected and tested a total of 493 petroleum product samples and issued quality certificates for all of them.
According to Williams, since the implementation of the testing complaint regime, the incidence of substandard petrol has been “reduced significantly”.
Noting that the petroleum sector is vital to the growth and development of the country, she said that the Government is “working to ensure that we build a robust legislative and regulatory framework to guide the industry, [and] facilitate stakeholder involvement and engagement as outlined in the National Energy Policy”.
Meanwhile, State Minister for Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green, has hailed the compensation package as a “victory for consumers”.
“This sends a much bigger signal than for the 380 persons who suffered from the bad gas. This says that, consumers, your rights are valid, and they can and will be [protected],” he noted.
In 2015, motorists across the island were adversely affected when they purchased contaminated fuel at several service stations.
A Petroleum Trade Reform Committee was subsequently established in 2016 to investigate the bad gas reports and proposed recommendations, several of which Williams said her ministry has been implementing, to prevent a recurrence of the incident.