Total Puerto Rico anticipates marked changes in the fuel market for the near future
October 25, 2017, San Juan, PR - The fuel market of Puerto Rico has had to adjust in a short time to meet the dramatic increase in demand for diesel.
For Total Petroleum Puerto Rico, the demand for diesel is five times higher than before Hurricanes Irma and María. "We take quick actions to meet the new need that we understand must be maintained at normal levels during the next months," said Pierre Emmanuel Bredin, general manager of Total Petroleum in Puerto Rico. Even if electricity service returns, the increase in the number of generators in the country and the reconstruction works will keep the demand for diesel high in the near future.
Before the passage of the hurricanes, Total's diesel demand in Puerto Rico was replaced by 1,100 barrels per day, which is the average per day since the beginning of the year 2017. At present, Total ships 5,500 barrels per day (with a peak of 8,000 barrels per day). Bredin explained that the changes in the market have impact from the supply and import of fuel, storage, clearance in the depot and the number of trucks and their size.
Previously, Total received a vessel with diesel every three weeks, now it requires one every 10 days to meet the demand. "In the depot, we doubled the capacity to store the diesel, converting tanks of gasoline to diesel.
In addition, Total had to secure more "Smurf" trucks of smaller size to supply diesel to hospitals and other customers that need to operate with power plants. "We double the fleet to distribute diesel and gasoline and meet the increase in demand." Together with his business partner, the Truckers Cooperative, they have analyzed the need of each client to use the available fleet in the most effective way. " To each client, his solution. "Even so, he advised that customers should have a reservation of more than three days of diesel to be more comfortable.
Although there was never a problem of fuel supplies in Puerto Rico in the wake of the hurricane, Bredin added that completing the investment in his terminal in Guaynabo will help Puerto Rico to be more prepared for future emergencies since instead of having one month of supply would be counted on two months. The terminal and the duplication of the space to store the fuel must be completed by the first semester of 2019. The work requires an investment of $ 40 million, of which there is still an investment of 18 million to complete it.
"We remain firm with our plans and with the commitment to Puerto Rico," the executive added.
Initial data and lessons after Maria's passage:
- The first gasoline delivery occurred on Friday at noon after the hurricane.
- Total started the operation with the first two drivers he managed to contact.
- The first supply was directed to two hospital institutions, Veterans Hospital and Medical Center. • They began to supply the nearest stations and they were increasing little by little.
- The greatest difficulties in initiating operations and responding were the lack of communication, the lack of energy and the lack of road access in many regions of Puerto Rico.
- Inspection of all stations and certification took seven days to see which ones were eligible to receive fuel.
- The dock where Total receives its product had two sunken private vessels that were removed.
- Since the Tuesday following the hurricane, they opted to work 24 hours a day in 12-hour shifts, an operation that continues to this day. When there was no communication, the retailers and other customers and people who were not customers showed up to put the orders at hand. It had to improvise a system to serve this public since everything worked by phone or electronically previously.
- All of Total's skillful staff moved to the depot to respond to the crisis.
- In the absence of telecommunication networks, it took a week to contact all the employees and drivers, and to assure that they were well.
- Worked with the government to establish the priorities of whom to supply, in terms of hospitals and other health centers. The lack of communication and connectivity hindered the delivery and collection, everything was done manually.
- 91% of Total's stations are in operation (187) with plant.
- There are 10 stations that will require a significant investment to reopen.
Only the company is composing a financial chart of the weeks of emergency. "Our focus at that time was to address the need, now we will have a clearer picture of the operation and plan for the future," Bredin said.
"It has been a great learning and we are grateful to our employees, truck drivers, retailers who did the unspeakable to serve the great need for fuel." He added that they will continue with the efforts to help lift Puerto Rico.
Total is an integrated global energy producer, a leading international oil and gas company and a key player in solar energy through its Sun Power and Total Solar brands. Our 98,000 employees are committed to a better energy, that is, with a more secure, cleaner, more efficient, more innovative and accessible energy to as many people as possible. As a responsible corporate citizen, we focus on ensuring that our operations in more than 130 countries worldwide consistently deliver economic, social and environmental benefits.