The Goverment and the Societe de Service Petroliers (SSP) has agreed, in what is understood to be a first for the Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) and the SSP, to working together in a structured framework to enhance their good working relationship in knowledge and infromation sharing for the Petroleum Sector.

On Thursday 26 October 2017 at the Ministry of Climate Change in Port Vila, MoCC Director General Jesse Benjamin and SSP General Manager Nicolas Leflon offically signed a Memorandum of Understanding in the presence of the SSP Operations Manager and the Department of Energy’s Principal Scientific Officer-Petroleum.DG Jesse Benjamin stated that “we have been waiting a long time for such a framework to enhance sharing of informaiton with the Petroleum Company and the Government of Vanuatu. This MOU is going to assist us to be better informed with data and information on petroleum especially in the transport sector to assist the government in energy policy decisions for the communities of this island country.

GM Nicolas Leflon emphasis , “operational standards for health, safety, security and environemnt is of the utmost importance and I am happy to work with the MoCC through  the Department of Energy in the exchanging of data to assure the Government of Vanuatu of the safe handling and storage of fuel products for the consumers and the general public. SSP will ensure that data is provided on request and we also request that matters of confidentiality is treated as such.”

The Government of Vanuatu’s National Energy Road Map (NERM) prioirites for  the petroleum sector will be implemented through such medium as this. The NERM has five priority objectives and thirteen targets for the energy sector to be facilitiated by the Department of Energy. The MOU will improve the partnership for implementation with the SSP in priority 2. Petroleum Supply with the two targets to i) reduce the cost of distributing all petroleum products in Vanuatu; and ii) improve Health, Safety and Environmental Standards by 2020.

The purpose of the MOU is to improve general knowledge of petroleum best practices in Vanuatu and better define local standards for the management and handling of petroleum products under strict Health Safety Security Environment rules. The MOU sets out the basis on which SSP and MoCC (DoE) will communicate in good faith for this purpose. In this understanding, SSP and MoCC will discuss norms and standards; Health, Security, Safety, Environment rules and best practices; and supply handling. Furthermore, SSP is understood to be willing to include DoE representative in training.  SSP and MoCC generally understand that the MOU is governed by Vanuatu law and they will submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Vanuatu. The MOU was signed in counterparts and understood to constitute one and the same document.

DG Jesse Benjamin took the chance to congratulate SSP in the launching of the fuel service stations in the islands of Malakula and Tanna and expresses the support of the MoCC for additional fuel stations in other provinces to further reduce the cost of distributing petroleum products in Vanuatu.  And that he wishes to see the benefits in the reduction of costs pass on by public transport operators and other businesses to their own customers. For trainings and sharing of knowledge, the DoE representative is to reciprocate in like manner.