Gulf Petrochem eyes East Africa expansion

Company to increase storage capacity and grow its footprint in the region

Gulf Petrochem's group headquarters are in the UAE.
Gulf Petrochem's group headquarters are in the UAE.

UAE based global bunker supplier Gulf Petrochem will focus on East Africa to increase its storage capacity and grow the company's footprint in the region.

The company plans to ramp up storage capacity in the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam and Kenya's second largest city Mombasa, executive director S Thangapandian told Reuters in an interview.

The UAE-based trader is also planning to tap the bunker fuel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sectors, with a deal to lease about 100,000 cu/m to store mainly gasoil and gasoline due to be finalised by December.

The company has applied for licences in Kenya and Tanzania to market LPG (mainly to be used for cooking) and plans to increase the number of its fuel stations from three to eight.

“The next decade belongs to Africa because that’s the market which is short. Tremendous opportunities are available there and assets are available at cheap rates. Things are slowly stabilising there,” said Thangapandian.

In Kenya, it recently acquired local firm Essar Petroleum East Africa Ltd., which was licensed to market petroleum products through outlets it previously serviced. 

The company also recently invested $60mn in storage facilities in Fujairah, as part of its plans to increase its presence in the Middle East.

Part of the storage capacity would be ready by December 2016, with the remainder completed by March 2017, Thangapandian added.

The launch of supply operations in Fujairah will compliment Gulf Petrochem Group’s growing global footprint in bunker supply, which to date includes Khor Fakkan and all other ports of the UAE, Gulf of Kutch, Indian ports of Kandla, Sikka and Vadinar.

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