Looking for higher octane fuel in Cayman

| 27/06/2017

Why do none of the local fuel distributors offer an octane option higher than 93? There are a number of high-end car dealerships on island that sell vehicles designed to be using a higher octane fuel, such as 95, meaning there would definitely be a market for it.

Auntie’s answer: I put your question to the Fuels Inspectorate (formerly the Petroleum Inspectorate), which is now part of the Utilities Regulation and Competition Office (known as OfReg). A very helpful representative of the inspectorate gave a detailed response and to avoid any confusion I am going to quote extensively from his explanation. It is a bit technical but worth going through.

The first thing to understand about octane ratings is there are three “representations” to consider: Research Octane Number (RON), Motor Octane Number (MON) and Anti-Knock Index (AKI). “Currently in the Cayman Islands, the octane number displayed at the pumps is AKI, which by definition is the average of the RON and the MON, i.e. (RON + MON)/2,” he explained.

Next up is a look at the derivation of the octane number, which is central to answering your question.

Here’s the explanation: “The octane number referenced for use by a vehicle’s manufacturer manual will most of the time be the RON, which is always higher than the AKI of the fuel. A vehicle that is recommended to use gasoline with 95 RON will run perfectly fine on AKI 93 fuel as designated locally.

“When purchasing a vehicle, it is important to understand which octane number (of the three) your manual is recommending and always use the appropriate grade. If you are unsure which octane number (RON, MON or AKI) your vehicle’s manual is referencing, your car dealer can clarify.”

Now we can specifically talk about high-end cars and their octane requirements: “The majority of stock high-end vehicles (not modified for high-speed racing performance) on the road today will have no issues using the local AKI 93, which has a RON of approximately 98-99, but it all comes down to manufacturer recommendation. Local car dealerships are aware of the octane levels of the gasoline grades available locally and typically do not import vehicles that cannot run on this fuel.”

In addition, the inspectorate produces fuel-quality reports that are available to the public. These are done about three times a year to monitor fuel quality and can be viewed at this website.

I hope this explanation helps. Anyone who needs more information or further clarification, can email the Fuels Inspectorate.

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Comments (8)

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  1. Sharkey says:

    I read that Adrian Briggs would be opening gas station that would be possible selling high octane fuel.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The last available tests are November of last year and do not have numbers as high as stated. What is the problem?

  3. Anonymous says:

    A better question may have been why buy a high-end car when you can only drive a maximum of 50 MPH when you are lucky? Mostly about 35mph. Even with a higher octane fuel the engine is still not going to get to run properly.

  4. Anonymous says:

    So Rubis Pure 93 (which is the highest in Cayman I believe) is 98-99 RON as it would be described in the UK for example. Helpful, thanks.

    • Brief Ninja says:

      Hmmmm. I wonder? If only we could get the results from ALL of the gas stations BY NAME along with their locations on Island, and not just one print out from a random station / location.

      Also, 3 times a year??? Really! Don’t you think that the consumers should have this available more frequently than that?

      • Anonymous says:

        They can’t do it more often than that – they’re far too busy traveling!