Officials from the Solomon Islands Ministry of Commerce, Industries, Labour and Immigration, South Pacific Oil, Markwarth Oil Limited and Origin Energy Solomons Limited are currently reviewing Fuel and Liquefied Petroleum Gas prices in the Solomon Islands in Brisbane starting Tuesday this week.
The 2022 annual review process is supported by international consultancy firm Hale & Twomey Ltd that supported the Solomon Islands Consumer Affairs and Price Control Division this year.
The annual review is important to analyze submissions from Fuel Companies including the 2022/2023 Fuel Price Templates. The process involves critical analysis with terms important in setting new Fuel Pricing Templates that will become effective for the next 12 months in 2022/2023.
The Solomon Islands Government regulates its domestic petroleum market through a Price Control mechanism that adjusts the petroleum prices on a monthly basis on the submissions from the two petroleum suppliers, Markwarth Oil Limited (MOL) and the South Pacific Oil Limited (SPOL) to the Solomon Islands Price Advisory Committee (PAC). Price Control of goods and services including petroleum products is under the responsibility of the Consumer Affairs and Price Control Division within the Ministry of Commerce, Industries, Labour, Immigration and Consumer Affairs.
Opening the meeting on Tuesday at Hilton Hotel, Head of Delegation and Minister of Commerce, Industries, Labour, Immigration and Consumer Affairs, Frederick Kologeto said petroleum products are important commodities that move people, goods and services around and within different Islands in the country.
He added that petroleum products are now becoming widely used as sources of energy through fuel and power generation to promote marketing and trading in the Solomon Islands. This is through manufacturing, fishing, tourism, farming, small and medium-scale agro-industries, mining, and other economic activities that provide income and employment in both formal and informal sectors.
The current Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) initiated reforms and transformed policies to enhance the socio-economic capacity for sustainable growth and development in the productive sector, which, set the basis for economic recovery and growth of the economy.
These policies also involved regulating of petroleum prices, including the annual review of the price template to ensure fuel companies, consumers and the government receive equal benefits from the commodity.
Prices of goods and domestic fuels have increased in the last three years due to the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukraine-Russian war. The Solomon Islands Government took the decision to remove all import duty and sales tax on fuel prices to cushion the impacts on domestic fuel consumption for production.
“This important to sell fuel at reasonably cheaper prices to consumers and at the same time give reasonable returns in the operations in profit margins,” Kologeto said.
The Fuel Price Annual Review with South Pacific Oil and Markwarth Oil Limited was successfully completed on 18th November while the review Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) will conclude on November 21 with officials from Origin Energy Solomons Limited.
Minister Frederick Kologeto acknowledged the Chief Executive Officer Mr. Carson Korowai and his team of South Pacific Oil Limited and Director Steve Barrett – Director of Markwarth Oil Limited for participating in Review process.
The Solomon Islands Government delegation accompanying Minister Kologeto include Price Advisory Committee Secretary Edward Bamu, Deputy Secretary (Technical) Eric George, Consumer Affairs and Price Control Director Geoffrey Dan Hou’ua and Deputy Director John Wesley Dokama. Technical advisor Mr Shakil Kumar from Hale & Twomey Ltd supported the review process with technical knowledge and experience to consolidate appropriate data during the review of fuel pricing template.
The delegation is due back on November 22 after the conclusion of Petroleum Liquefied Gas (LPG) Products with the Origin Energy Solomons Limited.