Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare has congratulated Solomon Islands very own fuel distributor company- South Pacific Oil Limited (SPO)- on the occasion of its 10th Anniversary celebration in Honiara last night.
The Prime Minister was the Guest Speaker at the occasion held at the Coral Seas Resort and Casino Hotel.
“I wish to congratulate the Board, General Manager and the hardworking staff of the South Pacific Oil Limited for the success of the company over its ten years of operation. No doubt we also look forward to another ten years of thriving and successful business operations,” the Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister Sogavare’s keynote address followed speeches by the SPO General Manager, Mr Carson Korowa and Board Chairman, Mr Gideon Zoloveke and the Chairman of the Solomon Islands National Provident Fund (SINPF), Mr Peter Boyers. The speakers all refer to SPO as a highly successful business venture which is solely owned by the SINPF.
According to the SPO financial performance report presented by Mr Zoloveke, the company paid a total dividend of $297.3-Million to SINPF since it commenced operation in 2006 and pays around $130-Million in taxes to the Government annually.
According to the report, South Pacific oil was valued at $42-Million in 2006, $625 Million after five years of operation and in 2016 its asset value rose to $766-Million. The valuation was carried out by the Sydney-based Chartered Accountants, Ernst and Young.
Prime Minister Sogavare said the company’s success deserves a ‘landmark’ celebration, adding that any business entity by its very nature including the SPO is only as successful as its annual financial standing.
He said SPO’s contribution in taxes to the Government and payment of dividends to SINPF and the increase of its asset value are ‘all exciting stuff and music to my ears as a proud Solomon Islander and no less the Prime Minister.’
The Prime Minister said he was also pleased to note from the SPO website that SPO provides superb customer service, product prices and is dedicated to maintaining International Safety Standards in its workplace.
He said ‘this is elegant promotion and music to the ears’ because SPO operates by and large as a service provider and for such a business, quality service and products are essential.
Prime Minister Sogavare also expressed delight to have noted that 98 out of the company’s total of 100 employees are Solomon Islanders.
“Now this is the sort of business we want to encourage in this country as it provides jobs for locals both in quantity and expertise,” he said.
Turning to the evolving business environment in Solomon Islands and future opportunities against the backdrop of increasing propagation linking global warming to use of fossil fuels, the Prime Minister said he has wondered whether the company has considered venturing into alternative forms of sustainable energy.
He said he only raised this conception as matter of social responsibility but accepted the existing reality that energy derived from fossil fuel and petroleum in particular, currently remain the major source of energy, powering businesses and industries which in turn serve as the engine of social and economic growth in Solomon Islands.
“In other words petroleum right now is the life blood or liquid stream that nourishes and energises local industries and businesses in the Solomon Islands. To this extent, SPO is not only a service provider but also a life-saver.”
On that note, the Prime Minister posited the idea of SPO entering into joint ventures with other major energy users such as the Solomon Islands Ports Authority, Solomon Airlines and Solomon Power to build synergies and compliment economy of scale.
“After all, just like SPO, all these other business enterprises are also locally-owned companies,” he added. “My curiosities might appear misplaced but merely reflect my personal pride and enthusiasm in learning about a truly local company that has been successful over the past ten years.”