18 March 2016
The Assistant Chief Minister, Senator Philip Ozouf, has issued the following statement
The renewal of the lease for La Collette Fuel Farm has caused some to question its impact on fuel pricing in the Island. While the details of the lease could not be discussed while negotiations were ongoing last week, I am now in a position to be more explicit.
I am pleased to be able to report that the new lease and accompanying operating agreement contain, for the first time, conditions that mean any breaches of the Competition Law or conditions imposed on the fuel farm by CICRA can result in the lease being cancelled by the States.
These significant new safeguards have been designed to lower the barriers to entry for businesses to supply fuel in Jersey. This will facilitate competition in the fuel market which will help to keep import costs down for the benefit of consumers.
Irrespective of who owns the fuel farm it is essential to allow competition and ensure that the facility is operated on a fair and non-discriminatory basis.
The inclusion of new safeguards in the lease is only the starting point and it is essential they are enforced fairly.
Having assumed the responsibilities for competition on the 1 January this year, it is my job to ensure that happens.
The major review of Jersey's competition framework, which was completed by Oxera and overseen by Professor Sir John Vickers, paves the way for a strengthening of our competition and regulatory arrangements overseen by the Chief Minister's department and working with CICRA to make sure that all markets work in consumers’ interests.
I wish to re-state my commitment to ensure that all the 23 recommendations from that review are implemented.
This is essential if we are to deliver best value for Islanders in markets that have been the subject of long standing concern to consumers.
There will be continued focus and, where necessary, action on fuel pricing.
I wish to assure members of the public that I am determined to use the existing Competition Law, a strengthened CICRA and the new powers in the lease to improve transparency and make markets work for the benefit of Islanders.