Friars Hill RoadAntigua and Barbuda, WI - 00000

Householders now have the option of purchasing Liquefied Petroleum Gas, or cooking gas in a more consumer-friendly cylinder. The company launched its new 25-pound-capacity cylinder. The cylinder is lighter and made of a rust-resistant material. Critically as well for consumers, the container holds more fuel, meaning even better value, according to Kiz Nathaniel, WIOC’s Special Projects Officer, speaking on the heels of the soft launch of the product on Friday, April 5 in St John’s.

The company, which is the sole distributor of cooking gas in Antigua and Barbuda, says the new product is initially available in three service stations; Friars Hill, outside the company’s headquarters, as well as the Spencer’s and Belle Vue locations. Roll-out is expected to continue on a phased basis across the entire network.

The Antigua-based West Indies Oil Company is to roll out one of its most expansive projects yet, in another tell-tale sign of its expanding reach and growing investment footprint. The company is to invest XCD$40 million into the construction of a business park along Friars Hill Road, with work expected to begin in 2019. This was disclosed during the 2019 Budget Presentation by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Corporate Governance and Public Private Partnerships, Hon. Gaston Browne.

The initiative represents a further diversification of the company’s activities and an expansion beyond its core business of oil storage and distribution. The project is to be rolled out in proximity to WIOC’s headquarters, and is expected to catalyze job creation and further economic activity in Antigua and Barbuda.

The Business Park is among a slew of expansion initiatives being pursued by the company this year as part of a XCD$50 million dollar investment in further organic growth in 2019.

The West Indies Oil Company has announced another major milestone in improving operational efficiency and service excellence. The newly-installed five-point Conventional Buoy Mooring System (CBM) north of the Sea Island Jetty is due for completion in June 2019. It introduces best-in-class modalities, by allowing for the transfer of products between tankers and WIOC’s shore facility. Critically, it allows for the simultaneous loading and off-loading of products. This brings enhanced efficiency and allows the company to further improve the delivery of various services to its customers.

Commenting on the new development, CEO Gregory Georges says, “This new installation will facilitate multiple vessel operations, improved operation times and faster turnaround of customer vessels and represents a remarkable upgrade to the company’s sea-side infrastructure.”

Even more improvements are being mulled, as the company keeps in step with international best practices.

The West Indies Oil Company, WIOC, has moved to significantly boost its storage capacity for Liquefied Petroleum Gas, or cooking gas in Antigua. The sole distributor of the product in the market has acquired eight additional containers, each with a capacity of forty-five thousand gallons.

The ‘bullets’ as they are referred to in the distributive trade, will ensure there is an adequate supply of LPG in the periods between shipments. This development heralds good news for both householders and business operators who rely on this fuel for meal preparation. In addition, it is also a prudent business decision by WIOC which points to the resultant reduction in freight costs. This is so because increased storage capacity means there is less frequent importation of LPG.

WIOC’s Chief Executive Officer, Gregory Georges says this development is a momentous one for the company and is congruent with its growth and development strategy to better serve its customers.

The transportation of the containers from the Deep Water Harbour was a major logistical exercise, but was completed without incident. They are now at the headquarters of the company on Friars Hill Road and are to be installed shortly.

New ground has been broken in the empowerment of women in Antigua and Barbuda, and the West Indies Oil Company has been at the forefront of those efforts. The company has walked the walk as an equal opportunity employer, fueling the professional development of an impressive cadre of female employees, who have welcomed the opportunity to shatter the glass ceiling.

The management of the Friars Hill-based oil storage and distribution entity says this has been particularly evident over the past two years, as it accelerates the development of its human capital.

WIOC knows that its strength rests with a committed and competent group of employees who are willing to unlearn and relearn in an age of dynamism and the wonders of technological innovation. Never before in the organization’s history has there been such an enabling environment for all employees, irrespective of age and gender, to fulfil their true potential. The company is heartened to see that increasing numbers of women have answered this clarion call to serve in various capacities. This is even more impressive since female professionals are making a foray into areas hitherto dominated by their male counterparts.

WIOC is proud to be among the most progressive companies in its approach to female empowerment. The upshot has been an uptick in the number of females entering management positions, as well as Engineering, Finance and Terminal Operations. This has been buttressed by a culture of inclusivity and excellence in which all employees are motivated and encouraged to extend the boundaries of the possible and the probable.

The West Indies Oil Company has credited a determined approach to institutional strengthening for the impressive turnaround and expansion of its operations. The company now boasts storage capacity of 1.7 million barrels, a significant surge from 600,000 barrels. This culture of high-performance has been the corollary of a change-management orientation which has touched every facet of the organization.

Company executives have pointed to a reform of the organization’s ethos to make it consonant with the objectives of service excellence. All employees have been engaged in this exercise. While ongoing, it has already shaped a new organizational mindset. The Antigua-based company has indicated that it is proud that internal stakeholders at all levels are now the standard-bearers of this approach, which involves understanding and balancing the needs of multiple stakeholders and becoming more customer-centric.

Human Resource Manager, Marlene Bailey commending employees for embracing this new paradigm. She says, “Instead of resistance, the culture is now typified by resilience. Employees have increasingly become open to, and supportive of the new business processes.”

In this area as well, WIOC’s executive team says the company is leading the change; it also says the best is yet to come, as the climb to the apogee continues.

In another demonstration of commitment to the continuous development of its human capital, the West Indies Oil Company recently facilitated a 3-day training in project management for all Supervisors and Middle Managers. The exercise was conducted by Radient Project Management Services Limited (RPMSL), whose co-owner Michael Charles delivered the course.

The WIOC Middle Managers benefitted from Mr Charles’ four decades of experience in the area of project management. The material imparted during the course is expected to fine-tune the managers’ efficacy in extracting the best project value while meeting the over-arching objectives of the project holder.

The company says this underscores its focus on creating an enabling environment for its second-tier managers to execute multiple projects, some of which are undertaken simultaneously.

All course participants expressed their gratitude for the opportunity and vowed to utilize the new approaches they garnered during the course to deliver even greater service to customers.

The West Indies Oil Company has received approval from stakeholder agencies to operate its Sea Island Jetty at nights, as opposed to the exclusively day-time operation hitherto. This is being hailed by WIOC as a seminal development in its expansion and efficiency thrust. This will be of immense benefit to the company’s growing base of commercial customers who take advantage of its convenient and cost-effective storage facilities. They will be able to have their vessels loaded and off-loaded during night-time hours, if the need arises.

The approval for the expanded operations is the culmination of months of discussions among WIOC, the Antigua and Barbuda Department of Marine Services and Merchant Shipping (ADOMS) and the Antigua Port Authority.

The new arrangement comes at an opportune time as WIOC pursues strategic investments to grow its storage business. The company’s ‘tank farm’ has seen impressive expansion to satisfy growing demand from regional and international entities.

The West Indies Oil Company has again demonstrated its commitment to environmental sustainability. The company has concretized its collaboration with the Department of Environment, DOE, an arm of the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment in Antigua and Barbuda. WIOC says the aim is to continuously devise ways of minimizing any deleterious impact of its operations on the natural environment.

The DOE plays a seminal role by ensuring that WIOC’s procedures and processes accord with stringent environmental policies. WIOC’s CEO, Gregory Georges, has welcomed this ongoing engagement, emphasizing that the company prioritizes “the safety of the stakeholders and its commitment to environmental protection”.

WIOC says its fidelity to these principles is non-negotiable.