Cutting of the ribbon to declare the Sol R&R Tackling Service Station open. From left: Sol Antilles General Manager for the Northern Caribbean David Antrobus; Reverend Doris Lynch-Gibbes; Parliament Chairperson Sarah Wescot-Williams and Ronald Tackling of Sol R&R Tackling service station.
A section of the audience at the official reopening of the service station.
~ Completely full service ~
COLE BAY--Motorists tanking up in the Cole Bay area have the option of making use of the completely refurbished Sol R&R Tackling Service Station, which was officially reopened on Thursday in the presence of staff, dignitaries and other invited guests.
The station, refurbished at a cost of US $1.7 million, features new tanks, pipes, canopy, dispensers and lighting, as well as a refurbished shop with improvements for the safety of the staff with the installation of security features in the area of the shop cashier in line with Sol’s retail philosophy of saving lives.
The station has four pumps, of which two are unleaded gasoline (ULG) only, one diesel fuel and ULG, and one diesel fuel only. The station is completely full service. The renovations took about five months to be completed.
Sol Antilles General Manager for the Northern Caribbean David Antrobus recalled that Sol had launched the Sol retail brand in St. Maarten at the R&R Tackling service station on October 15, 2010, after Sol had completed the brand conversions at all of its retail sites nine months prior.
“St. Maarten had just become Country St. Maarten on 10/10/10 and our first Prime Minister, Sarah Wescot-Williams, in one of her first official functions after assuming office did us the honour that day to launch the Sol brand at what she referred to as her service station,” he said adding that Sol is honoured that now, in her capacity as Chairperson of Parliament, Wescot-Williams accepted to perform the official re-opening Thursday.
“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 and this continued success is made possible through the support of you, our customers, and the contributions made by our staff and partners over the years.”
The island was devastated by Hurricane Irma in 2017, which severely affected the Sol service stations, but Antrobus said Irma had allowed the company to further prove its commitment to the St. Maarten public and Sol had the first service station supplying fuel on the island within two days and all the service stations were operational within five weeks.
As a result of the damage sustained at the station, Sol made the decision that, as part of the repair work due to the hurricane damage, it would upgrade its stations. Included in the upgrades, Sol has changed tanks and piping to international environmental standards.
Tackling is the second station to be completed. Sol Sucker Garden was re-opened in September 2018.
Antrobus said the service station upgrades take some time and involve site closure for varying periods. “Thus, we would thus like to thank the dealer Ronald Tackling, his staff and the loyal customers of this station for their patience and understanding through the trying and painful period of the refurbishment.”
He also thanked everyone who had assisted in the refurbishment, including main contractor Phoenix Petroleum and its numerous local subcontractors, Renaldo Sealey and the other project engineers from Sol’s head office, local Sol staff who were involved with the project and all 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.”
Sol was purchased in January 2019 by Canadian public company Parkland Fuel Corporation whose values of safety, integrity, community and respect very much mirror those of Sol. Parkland has committed to retaining and growing the Sol brand in the Caribbean, Central and South America. Parkland has a total of 2,640 retail service stations with an annual volume of 23 billion litres and operates across Canada, the USA and now the Caribbean.
Antrobus thanked the entire St. Maarten Sol team. “We recognise that our growth and continued success depend on our ability to attract and retain the very best people. I would also like to thank our retailers, distributors and contractors for their hard work in making this company a success. It is my sincere hope that with your (our customers’) support, we will continue to work well together and forge ahead to grow the company.”