Indian Oil In A Global Retail Rush

New Delhi, March 25 | Updated: Mar 26 2004, 05:30am hrs
Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is moving fast on the global arena. After a successful stint in Sri Lanka, where it has already opened 150 retail outlets (going up to 250) and is supplying 30,000 tonnes of diesel and 10,000 tonnes of petrol, it is now planning a big entry into the retail markets of South East Asia and Far East covering Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Philippines and in West Africa with Ghana as the base to enter Senegal, Nigeria, Togo, Guinea.

Mauritius is another focus country for IOC, where it has already initiated work to set up product terminals, LPG plants and 25 retail outlets besides securing an assurance to get 20 per cent of the aviation business for supplying jet fuel to various airlines.

IOCs plans is to make Mauritius as a base where it can get large parcels of petroleum products (around 40,000-50,000 tonnes) and distribute in the East African region to cover Madagascar, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia.

Besides Sri Lanka in the Saarc region, Bangladesh and Nepal are two other countries where IOC has already staged an entry.

Giving these details to FE, director, business development, IOC, N K Nayyar said the aim is to achieve close to 10 million tonnes of downstream business globally by 2010-11.

IOC has already invested $18 million in setting up a product terminal in Mauritius and a bulk storage terminal at Merouge. "IOC plans to open around 25 petrol stations in Mauritius and a LPG plant. It is also participating actively in the aviation business there along with a consortium of leading oil companies like Total, Esso, Caltex and Shell. IOC has already got an assurance for 20 per cent of aviation business in Mauritius," he added.

Alongside, IOC wants to use Mauritius as a base to reach East African countries like Madagascar, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia. It plans to bring large size parcels (40,000-50,000 tonnes) of petroleum products (sourced from India and other sources) to Mauritius and then distribute these in the region.

Singapore, which is the gateway for entry into South East Asia, is another focus market where IOC has planned acquisition of various retail properties including some of British Petroleum, which have been put up for sale. Besides putting up retail outlets, IOC is also considering setting up of product terminals in Singapore.

IOC is already supplying 2,50,000 tonnes of diesel and jet oil (aviation turbine fuel) to Bangladesh. "IOC has already supplied three cargoes and is hopeful that product supplies in the next two years would touch 350,000 tonnes and discussions in this regard are already underway," Mr Nayyar said.

He said IOCs board has recently approved formation of two joint venture companies with the Nepalese Oil Corporation. While one company will do retail marketing and LPG bottling, the other will put up oil terminals besides a 35-km long pipeline from Raxual (in Bihar) to Amlekhganj (Nepal). IOC will undertake refurbishing of retail outlets in Nepal and the entire product supplies to these retail stations will be from IOC (initially supplies will be around 0.8 million tonnes).