In light of recent and ongoing changes affecting the fuel supply of the Virgin Islands, the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs (DLCA) Weights & Measures (W&M) Unit continues to monitor the effects those changes have on consumers. Specifically, the W&M Unit keeps a watchful eye on wholesale and retail providers throughout the territory in accordance with the National Conference on Weights and Measures Standards, according to a press release issued Tuesday by the DLCA.
The transition of Hovensa now serving as a storage facility and no longer refining fuel in the Virgin Islands has prompted the importation and distribution of fuel from outside the territory. Historically, all fuel distributed throughout the Virgin Islands was refined by Hovensa. Regular gasoline from Hovensa displays no color, while premium gasoline displays a reddish color. Fuel color comes as a result of dye added to the product, after refining to distinguish the fuel types. It should be noted that the fuel color has no effect on fuel quality or octane; it merely is an additive distinct to the manufacturer and/or the jurisdiction of the importer.
Consumers purchasing gasoline from retailers receiving fuel products imported from Puerto Rico can expect the gasoline to have a different look. The colors are opposite to that of Hovensa. Regular gasoline from Puerto Rico displays a reddish color, while premium gasoline from Puerto Rico displays no color. DLCA is notifying the public of this effective change at some retail fuel stations throughout the territory. Presently, only those stations receiving imported fuel from Puerto Rico will experience this change in fuel color. Stations are reminded that they are responsible for ensuring that pumps clearly identify the specific fuel type offered to consumers. Pumps and tanks must be clearly marked in a conspicuous place with the appropriate labeling of fuel type and octane.
For further information or questions regarding this matter, contact Consumer Affairs Director Archie Corbitt on St. Croix at 773-2226 ext.227, Chief Inspector Luis Santos on St. Croix at 773-2226 ext. 224 or Chief Inspector Clement Warner on St. Thomas at 774-3130 ext. 4248.