- Enterprise is discussing joint investment projects with PetroChina
The Ethiopian Fuel Supply Enterprise (EFSE) is contemplating to engage in the fuel retail business in the local market.
EFSE is the sole government organ responsible for the country’s fuel imports. The Enterprise buys petroleum products with open international tender and sells it to oil companies that transport the products from ports to the mainland and distribute them to the public.
Reliable sources told The Reporter that the Enterprise is now looking at the possibilities that it can invest in the fuel retail business. Sources said the Enterprise is undertaking a study that enables it to build fuel retail stations with a new brand and venture into the business.
However, EPSE says it is too early to disclose the plan. The CEO of EPSE, Tadesse Hailemariam, told The Reporter that there is a gap in the fuel retail business. Tadesse said that the objective of the plan is not to compete with the private sector but to fill in the gap in the retail service.
“The private sector investment concentrates in the capital. Most fuel station owners want to build fuel stations in Addis Ababa with the view of building a commercial building together with the gas station. If you go out of Addis Ababa there are few fuel stations. We want to serve the public who does not have access to fuel stations,” Tadesse said.
However, Tadesse said that the initiative is at a conceptual stage. “We did not yet undertake a feasibility study. Nor did we propose the idea to the government. It is at an early conceptual stage,” he said.
There are 710,000 vehicles in Ethiopia with more than 70 percent of them (410,000) registered in Addis Ababa. However, the number of fuel stations in the capital stood at only 100. “Most of the fuel stations are very old and have small storage capacity,” sources said. “Securing plots of land to construct fuel stations is a big hurdle,” they said.
Reliable sources told The Reporter that EPSE is holding discussions with the Chinese oil and gas giant, PetroChina, to jointly invest in fuel retail business. PetroChina won an international bid floated by EPSE to supply 1.3 million metric tons of fuel in 2017 valued at one billion USD.
Tadesse has confirmed that his management is discussing joint investment projects with PetroChina. “We want to go further beyond fuel supply with PetroChina.” However, he declined to disclose the details of the planned investment with PetroChina.
Petro China is one of the top ten leading oil companies in the world with an annual turnover of 400 billion dollars. A representative of PetroChina, Daniel Kalumba, told The Reporter that his company wants to further take its cooperation with EPSE to joint investment projects.” However, Kalumba said it was too early to talk about the planned joint investment projects.
Established in 1999 PetroChina Limited Company is the largest oil producer and distributer in China. It is also one of the largest oil companies in the world listed in the New York and Asian stock exchanges. Eighty five percent of the shares is owned by the Chinese government.