Mumbai, Dec 22 (IANS) Ruia brothers-led Essar Oil plans to double the number of its petrol pumps in the country to 5,600 in the next 18 months, the company said on Thursday.
Essar Oil “has the largest private sector retail fuel network in India with over 2,800 operational outlets across the length and breadth of the country and over 2,800 at various stages of implementation to capitalise on the rising demand of transportation fuel”, the company said in its latest annual report.
The company currently has 2,823 operational petrol pump and will add another 2,800 pumps in 12 to 18 months, said CEO L.K.Gupta, adding Essar Oil operationalised 583 pumps during 2015-16.
“You may recall that Essar Oil was the first private sector company in India to open a retail fuel outlet back in 2003. Since then, the company kept its network operation despite the turbulent times right up till 2014, close to the complete de-regulation,” said company Chairman Prashant Ruia.
Essar Oil’s retail sales at 1.34 million tons in 2015-16 grew by 127 per cent over the 590,000 tons sold in 2014-15.
“This growth was mainly on account of expansion of company’s retail network as well as the opportunity presented to the private players in the retail segment by deregulation of diesel prices, thereby linking the price of diesel to the global market,” the annual report said.
The company will invest Rs 1,200 crore in upgrade of certain units of its Vadinar refinery in Gujarat to help boost refining margins by $1.5 per barrel.
“The company has already invested Rs 400 crore during the shutdown of the refinery in September-October last year. Furthermore, Rs 1,200 crore shall be invested to make additional upgrades in the various refinery units over the next 2-3 years,” Gupta said.
In October, the Essar Oil promoters signed pact to sell 98 per cent stake in the company to Russia’s state-run Rosneft and its partners for about $13 billion.
“In line with Essar’s philosophy to incubate, nurture, and scale up ideas to landmark valuations, the promoters decided to sell 98 per cent of your company stake to world’s leading oil and gas companies,” Ruia said.