Justice Minister Cornelius de Weever (left) and Member of Parliament Christophe Emmanuel joins David Antrobus of Sol Antilles and Service station operators the Mukhrams for the reopening of Sol St. Peters.
ST. PETERS–The neighbourhood of St. Peters has yet another milestone to celebrate as it continues to recover from the wrath of Hurricane Irma with the reopening of the refurbished Sol St. Peters Service Station on Friday evening.
The reopening marks the third official re-opening of Sol service stations in St. Maarten in the past 10 months and comes exactly one month after the reopening of the Sol R&R Tackling service station, said Sol Antilles General Manager for the Northern Caribbean David W. Antrobus.
National Alliance (NA) Member of Parliament Christophe Emmanuel expressed happiness with the reopening of the service station. He commended Sol for its quick return to the country following Irma and for the invaluable service it played in the emergency phase and the recovery process. He said Sol was an example of corporate stewardship and a beacon of hope.
The St. Peters station originally opened in 1992 and has had a mixed history over the years with many periods of closure, the last being the one allowing for the just-completed refurbishment. The station became a branded Sol service station in 2010.
Hurricane Irma severely affected all Sol service stations. On the second day after Irma, Sol had the first service station supplying fuel on the island and all stations were operational within five weeks of that fateful day, said Antrobus. The St. Peters station was operational six days after the hurricane.
The overall recovery of Sol stations after Irma “clearly shows we can maintain a constant fuel supply during hurricane season and specifically if we are struck by a hurricane,” said Antrobus.
With Parkland Fuel Corporation, a Canadian public company that acquired Sol on January 8, Sol’s “ability to provide security of supply has been further strengthened, as we now have many more sources from which we can provide product into the islands and we are thus less affected by weather conditions in this area.”
Sol has embraced the slogan often heard after the hurricanes “to rebuild stronger” and has not only repaired, but upgraded its stations and changed tanks and piping to international environmental standards.
That commitment to rebuilding stronger has resulted in the new full-service station at St. Peters with new tanks, pipes, canopy, dispensers and lighting as well as a refurbished shop, with improvements for the safety of the staff by installation of security features in the area of the shop cashier in line with Sol’s retail philosophy of saving lives.
“This upgrade has brought a refreshing look to the area and has come out looking quite spectacular,” said Antrobus.
The upgrade took longer than Sol envisaged and resulted in a closure of 4½ months. Antrobus thanked retailers Mr. and Mrs. Mukhram, their staff and customers “for their patience and understanding through the trying and painful period of the refurbishment.”
Antrobus also thanked everyone who had assisted in the refurbishment, including main contractor Phoenix Petroleum, its local subcontractor Renaldo Sealy, the other project engineers from Sol’s head office and local Sol staff, among others.
“They did this project safely with no lost time injuries, and with improved features to protect our workforce, customers and the environment. Thus, the entire project has met the safety value of our new owner, the Parkland Fuel Corporation,” said Antrobus.
Sol is in its 15th year of operation with a presence in 23 countries across the Caribbean and has a portfolio of 526 service stations, 93 branded Sol. Since the inception of Sol and its associated brands, the Sol sunburst has become a well-known trademark in St. Maarten and the wider Caribbean.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/89119-refurbished-sol-station-reopens-in-st-peters