August 3, 2012
High Court Judge orders SOL to resume petrol delivery to Mespo Gas Station

The sale of fuel at the Marriaqua Petrol Station recommenced yesterday, after High Court judge Justice Monica Joseph, on July 27, ordered SOL (EC) Ltd to deliver fuel to the gas station.{{more}}

The judgement means that the Marriaqua Petroleum Cooperative Society can sell gasoline, two years after SOL stopped delivering fuel there in April 2010.

SOL had said that the area where the service station operated was too small and it was best for the service station to close.

On May 3, 2010, the court allowed a March 29, 2010 injunction by lawyers Ronald Marks and Patricia Marks on behalf of the gas station.

The injunction ordered SOL to continue their services to the gas station.

Court documents show that the Marriaqua Petroleum Co-operative Society, the operators of the petrol station, hired Petroleum Maintenance Services Ltd to test the underground gasoline and diesel tanks at the station around July 25, 2010.

“The test revealed that the gasoil tank was satisfactory, whilst the test conducted on the gasoline tank could not be carried out to the standard requirements, due to the evidence of several leaks visible from the tank top.”

The document also said that SOL immediately ceased delivery of gasoline to the station.

On April 8, 2011, the gas station gave permission to test one 2,000-gallon gasoline underground gasoline tank.

SOL hired engineer Brian DaSilva, who conducted the test on August 6 and 10, 2011. The test revealed that there were very small leaks in the cover of the tank, but not in the tank itself.

Court documents say that the parties attended mediation on May 4, 2011 and agreed that an independent engineer from Industrial and Marine Services Ltd pressure test the 2,000-gallon gasoline storage tank.

One of the company’s engineers tested the tank on July 19, 2011 and concluded that the test was satisfactory and had no leaks.

“… despite the respondent being furnished with three different testing reports on the 2,000 gasoline storage tank stating that the tank is not leaking, the respondent has failed or refused to supply to the tank,” the court documents say.

Experts Bryan Pype, Brian DaSilva and Brian Hadaway, in their reports, all said the tank was satisfactory and was not leaking.

“It is common ground that SOL is responsible for maintenance under the agreement that guides the dealing between the parties. The exercise recommended by Mr Hadaway falls under maintenance. SOL is hereby required to carry out maintenance forthwith. On conclusion of this maintenance work, Mr Hadaway is to check that the equipment is in good, safe working condition and report to the court,” the judgement said.

The judge granted the injunction, but suspended operation of the petrol station until Hadaway had submitted a written report on July 19, 2012 that the tanks and equipment are in good and safe working condition.

The judge further ordered SOL to carry out maintenance work on the equipment and report to the court on 19 July that the work had been carried out.

A further order by the court on July 27 said: “Report of expert Brian Hadaway is that the tank and equipment are in good condition; Registrar to fix early date for trial in new law term as counsel has expressed doubt as to the long term viability of the tank; defendant to commence delivery of gas on 2 August 2012; Suspension of injunction lifted and liberty to apply.”

The substantive matter of breach of contract against SOL is still before the court.

Counsel Akin John represented SOL.