New propane company includes minister among investors

| 02/06/2016 | 0 Comments
CNS Business

New propane company includes minister among investors

(CNS Business): A new firm promoting the concept of propane gas as a clean source of energy includes the environment minister among its investors. Clean Gas, a new propane distribution company to be headquartered in the Industrial Park and due to be open before the end of this year, said it would provide another source of propane to the growing numbers of homes and businesses using the gas as an alternative to costly electricity. Early stage investors in the venture include Minister Wayne Panton, who is also the minister responsible for commerce.

Panton is one of a number of MLAs currently serving in the Legislative Assembly with business interests. Politicians are not barred from owning or investing in business but they must declare the full details of their earnings, investments, shares and other interests in any commercial enterprises, as well as the land they own in the register of interests.

The amended Standards in Public Life Law also requires all MLAs to publicly detail their commercial interests. According to the register of interests, Panton has several commercial investments but he is outstripped by Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell, who has by far the largest number of business interests and investments.

There has been some criticism of politicians being involved in businesses while serving in office, but Panton told CNS Business that he was not involved in the day to day management of any business interest and noted that he had been a businessman before he became a politician.

“I have complied with the Register of Interests Law and will comply with the Standards in Public Life Law when that is commenced shortly,” he said. “As a Caymanian I am proud to invest in my country, to create jobs for Caymanians, to contribute to our economy and to provide consumers with top notch products and services that deliver choice and value for money.”

A shareholder in C3, the only wholly Caymanian owned ICTA licensee, which provides fiber to the home and telephone, TV and internet services, he is now an investor in this wholly Caymanian owned energy company as well, which he said would finally provide a “competitive choice in that product and service to benefit consumers”.

Other investors in Clean Gas include Randy Merren, the owner of Hurley’s Media, as well as James Bergstrom and Marcus Cumber.

“For us, it was about giving a choice to consumers in the Cayman Islands,” said Cumber in a promotional release about the company. “This new venture will create a competitive environment that should benefit consumers positively. Clean Gas intends to be a critical driver of performance, pricing and service in the propane business in Cayman.”

The company plans to build a bulk storage facility capable of storing 300,000 gallons of propane when the build-out is complete, aiming to service residential and commercial accounts. Plans for the facility were submitted to the Central Planning Authority (CPA) at the beginning of May and the company’s engineering firm has been working closely with the Petroleum Inspectorate on the facility design to ensure the plant meets all safety requirements.

Over the next six months it is estimated that seven direct jobs will be created through Clean Gas and the firm claimed the distribution facility could add several million dollars to the Cayman Island economy.

“Clean Gas aims to establish a positive, lasting relationship with our community. Up until now, there’s only been one provider serving the community. Now, consumers will reap the rewards of being able to choose between the two options in the market.”

He added that the vision of Clean Gas is to promote the use of locally owned and environmentally friendly energy sources.


Category: Local Business, Utilities

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