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New gas arrives with old pump prices

Clean fuel being pumped in Iqaluit at last

Christine Kay
Northern News Services

Iqaluit (Aug 12/02) - New, clean gasoline began flowing in Iqaluit last week and so far the prices have not gone up.

NNSL photo

Peter Kownirk, assistant manager at the Baffin Gas Bar, works the pumps and even gets a couple of high-fives from customers who are glad to hear the new gas has arrived. - Christine Kay/NNSL photo

Scott Cooper, manager of Uqsuq Corporation, said 4.1 million litres of new gas arrived and about 1.8 million litres will be shipped out of Iqaluit on a tanker scheduled to arrive Aug. 17.

Were shipping it back out, said Cooper.

But some people are saying they wont be shipping anything out unless they get compensated for it.

Chris West, manager of retail operations for Qikiqtaaluk Corporation, said the 6,000 litres of bad gas sucked out of the tanks at the Baffin Gas Bar wont be going anywhere unless there is some form of compensation.

If were not compensated, we will probably sell it off in the drums. Lots of people figure theyve been using it all year so theyre willing to buy it, said West.

For some this would be a bargain, but for others its the fact that new gas is being sold and old prices still remain thats being taken advantage of.

We wont increase our price until our supplier increases the prices, said West.

The Baffin Gas Bar pumped all of the bad gas out of its tanks, cleaned them and then filled them up again. West said there was no mixing of good and bad gas at the station.

Toonoonik Gas Bar did not say the same. An employee from the station said they were also selling good gas, but that it had been mixed in with the rest.

Were selling it now, its a mix. We had no way of getting the old gas out of the pumps, said Devon Taasse.

The prices of gas remain the same despite the higher quality. The territorial government planned to keep the gas discounted until September and there is no word as of yet when things will change.

Toonoonik Gas Bar is still selling fuel at 62 cents a litre. Baffin Gas Bar is at 62.3 cents and the beach gas bar will remain at 60.3. West said the beach gas bar is cheaper to help support hunters and trappers.

This stuff is beautiful, said West. Even the smell of it a its totally, totally different, he said.

Cooper said the gas is premium, which means it has a higher level of octane than the usual mid-grade gas brought to Iqaluit. Octane ratings measure the gasolines ability to prevent engine knock a a rattling or pinging sound in the engine.

The old or bad gas was leaving a gummy residue in engines and forcing customers to pay for heavy repair bills. Many residents of Iqaluit compared the gas to Coke or molasses.

The last tanker to deliver good gas to Iqaluit arrives Aug. 26.