Refuel makes renewed bid for second station

| 29/04/2021 | 43 Comments

(CNS): The owner of Refuel, the only suppliers in Cayman of ethanol and biodiesel, is waiting to hear if his renewed and changed application for a second gas station on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway (ETH) by the Ritz Carlton will be approved by the Central Planning Authority. Dow Travers has applied for a four-unit commercial building and fuel station, which he says would expand the reach and cut the cost of the greener gas to customers. Refuel currently has only one gas station, located in the industrial area of George Town, and a previous attempt to open this second station was denied in April 2019 and failed at appeal later that year.

In the renewed application, Travers’ team redrew the plans so that the entrance will now be on the ETH rather than the West Bay Road. They have also committed to financing and building the link road that will be required to take traffic in and out of the proposed station.

While the area is zoned hotel and tourism, the development plan allows for gas stations under certain conditions, and this time around the CPA seemed to be more supportive of the redesign and relocation of the station. As the board questioned Travers and his architect, CPA Chairman A. L. Thompson said he was impressed with the support Refuel had from its customers.

As part of the submissions for the application, Travers argued that the “emission reducing and economically competitive product” could help government meet its national energy policy goals, but its current single location was at capacity and if he was going to be able to service more drivers and cut the price, he needed to expand.

Refuting claims by OfReg that there are too many gas stations in Cayman, Travers pointed out the fundamental difference between his product and that offered by the current duopoly of Sol and Rubis and that by stifling his ability to grow, the regulator was supporting the noncompetitive status quo in direct opposition to its remit. He said the marketcurrently prevents new entrants such as Refuel from competing or gaining a market share.

“The ability of Refuel to further reduce fuel prices in the Cayman Islands is limited unless it can increase scale,” he said, pointing out the need to move into the Seven Mile Beach corridor and West Bay area to offer more people the opportunity to use the less expensive, greener gas.

Appearing at the CPA meeting via Zoom, Travers said that he has more than 200 regular customers who are already driving from West Bay to the current station to fill up. He also noted that the traffic now on the ETH would support the station.

One of three objectors appeared at the hearing and argued that there were too many gas stations in the area, that it was inappropriate given the luxury hotels and condos near the site, that it would increase the traffic and that it would pose a pollution threat, all of which would devalue their neighbouring undeveloped land.

But Travers’ team argued that the traffic was already on the ETH, that gas stations are permitted in the zone and that the idea that modern gas stations were polluting was misplaced. Overall Refuel will reduce pollution because of its much lower emissions compared to the regular gas sold by the companies currently dominating the market, Travers stated.

Check back to CNS for an update on the decision.


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Category: Business, development, Fuel, Local News

Comments (43)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What?? More mangroves will be murdered in the scum swamps???

  2. Gasman says:

    We have so many people rightly complain about the Sol/Rubis duopoly which keeps the price of gas so high in Cayman. Then, when we get the opportunity to buy cheaper gas we get so many half wits complaining, not to mention OfReg which is not fit for purpose.We need competition, but it needs to be in more than one location. Mr Travers has put his case very succinctly, pity OfReg has nobody like him in terms of business acumen.

    • Anonymous says:

      Would not surprise me in the least if someone or a group is being handsomely compensated for maintaining the status quo.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Will you now please get your fleet pricing system working again then please? I’ve gone to other fuel stations because I can’t be bothered with your lack of fixing your purported better pricing system, it’s not worth the few cents I used to save to wait.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Nice idea, wrong place. This area is not zoned for gas stations.

  5. Anonymous says:

    What a delightful view this will present for the guests at the Ritz expecting (and paying for) luxury.

  6. ppm Distress Signal says:

    If you refuse this application The current one being constructed behind the Grove opposite Cayman water company that was approved must also be stopped which is even more ridiculous and even more dangerous.The approval for that should be thoroughly investigated.

  7. Michael Day says:

    I’ve been using Refuel and noticed NO reduction in mileage per gallon. It’s cheaper – fact. I don’t know the the owner but I am supportive. Let a progressive entrepreneur flourish. (And I am not anonymous)

    • Anonymous says:

      You need more of a lower energy fuel to make the same power; as you say – fact. That you haven’t noticed either a drop in mpg or power is hardly surprising.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Magnificent. Just watch the accidents increase as dumb ass drivers pull back into the traffic without the basics of mirror, signal, manoeuvre.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sooooooo,

      No more development because you don’t want idiot drivers entering the public roadway and hindering your personal enjoyment of your singular rights to use the public roads.

      SMH

      • Anonymous says:

        Utter drivel. But a development on a highway that is already notorious for accidents is a step in the wrong direction. But don’t let your sarcasm get in the way of the facts.

    • Anonymous says:

      8:23 What you mention would happen any where!

  9. Anonymous says:

    This ridiculous and out of time application must be denied summarily.

  10. Anon says:

    After this ONE,
    PLEASE, NO MORE GAS STATIONS !

  11. Anonymous says:

    We should all be moving toward electric cars anyways…I’ve seen loads of them around recently and the charging stations for them are often full.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed, but until CUC start using cleaner fuels than Diesel, we’re causing almost as much environmental damage unfortunately.

      They need to move to gas at least, but ultimately to a renewable source. Then solar power chargers everywhere and a fully electric workforce.

      But CUC change first please.

    • Anonymous says:

      ‘anyways’ is NOT a word and it isn’t cute saying it. You’re either Canadian or a teenager that doesn’t know any better.

  12. Anonymous says:

    We need another gas station like we need another church.

  13. Anonymous says:

    If this isn’t approved than it just goes to show the government is still all talk no walk.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Let’s have it. Works fine and much cheaper. This will make it easier for people to sav money.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lol, it’s cheaper because there’s less energy in it; you have to use more to do the same amount of work!

  15. Anonymous says:

    yes, please

    • Anonymous says:

      Wish they’d come east. We could really use one in Prospect or Savannah.

      • Anonymous says:

        We already have 4 between us. I think that’s enough. I’d gladly get rid of one as replacement though.

        • Anonymous says:

          That’s a daft thing to suggest. I can’t see Rubis or the other one giving one up for a competitor.

  16. Anonymous says:

    All BS. It takes more energy to make Ethanol than it actually produces when burned in automobiles. Not to mention the problems it causes I wont be buying any.

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