There are two main fuel suppliers in RMI. Marshall Island Energy Company (MEC) the main state owned enterprise and Mobil. MEC currently provides about 80% of fuel the market by volume
MEC currently provides diesel and LPG gas. Diesel is primarily used for the production of electricity throughout the major atolls and for the fishing industry and retail supply. MEC Also provides Gas (bottles) for domestic consumption. Mobile provides gasoline and Jet A1 and Avgas.
Mobil’s operations are winding down in RMI and it is envisaged infrastructure and customers will be passed to MEC.
Bulk fuel supplies are provided to the outer islands of Jaluit, Ebeye, Kili and Wotje for their central power generation. Outler island domestic supplies are carried in 20 and 200Lt Drums.
Clipper Oil also service the substantial fishing industry with MGO and can provide by tanker Jet A1 and ULP.
Mobil fuel bunker Majuro
MEC Bunker Majuro
Domestic fuel station Majuro
MEC Retail propane filling station
Majuro Central power generator consumes 1.2m Lt Diesel per month.
Diesel Powered Electricity
Diesel powered electricity generation is the main source of lighting used in the country, followed by solar energy. Figure 9.7 shows that a little over two out of three households (67.1%) use electricity for lighting, whereas 22.9% use solar energy.
A small number of households (3.7%) use kerosene for lighting and 6.3% use other sources, such as batteries, candles, or their own generator.
Note that the 1999 census reported kerosene as the most common source of fuel for lighting. Sources of lighting used in the country vary to a large extent by atoll/island. While all households in Kili use electricity for lighting,
There is no fuel pricing regulation in RMI. The two main companies are in direct competition with each other with Mobil consistently priced higher than MEC on the retail market.
Fuel Prices per Litre as of: 1 October 2017 (local currency and USD - $)
USD 1.20/Lt 4. 7/US gallon
Seasonal variations do not cause any changes in the supply to the main port of Majuro where fuel bunkers are located. Interisland transport however can become vulnerable to deliveries during the November to March Cyclone season.
Are there national priorities in the availability of fuel? (i.e. are there restrictions or priorities for the provision of fuel such as to the military?)
Priority is electricity generation.
Is there a rationing system?
Is fuel to lower income / vulnerable groups subsidized?
Yes to a degree. Fuel and subsequently electricity is not charged to the Bikini islanders on Kili
Can the local industry expand fuel supply to meet humanitarian needs?
Depending on type. Diesel is the fuel with the largest stock. MEC tries to maintain a 4-6 week buffer for electricity generation.
Is it possible for a humanitarian organization to directly contract a reputable supplier / distributor to provide its fuel needs?
Bulk fuel is transported directly into Majuro to bulk tanks for Mobil and for the MEC.
Fuel is transported around Majuro the islands using a 15000Lt tankers. This however the only Atoll where this occurs.
Bulk Inter island fuel supplies are carried by way of vessel fuel tanks in 400-500MT vessels. Vessels are supplied by MISCO, use the fuel tanks for storage and discharge at Atoll ports. The Atolls of Kili, Jaluit and Ebeye and Wotje all have central power generation requiring bulk fuel supplies.
Outer islands receive fuel in 20 and 200Lt drums for local refuelling of generators and vehicles.
Standards, Quality and Testing
There are no standards or quality testing facilities in RMI. Fuel supplies are tested by SGS in Guam. Technical personnel are flown in to undertake sampling of imported bulk fuel upon arrival.
Industry Control Measures
Do tanks have adequate protection against water mixing with the fuel?
Bulk Fuel -No
Mobil fuel use sea water to pump into the bulk tanks when stocks are low. This has caused issues with fuel and seawater mixing although not recently not recently. MEC do not use sea water for this purpose
Are there filters in the system which monitor where fuel is loaded into aircraft?
Is there adequate epoxy coating of tanks on trucks?
Is there a presence of suitable firefighting equipment?
Equipment available though not substantial. Levee bank surround NEC compound but not Mobil compound
Fuel Quality Testing Laboratory
810 West Marine Corps Drive, Hagatna, Guam, 96910, Guam
Telephone and Fax