Pride Mahlangu, Business Reporter
STATE-OWNED petroleum entity, Petrotrade, plans to establish a fuel service station in each of the country’s 60 districts as it seeks to improve service delivery.
“Petrotrade envisions having a service station in each of the 60 districts in Zimbabwe for inclusive development,” said the company in a brief update on its operations.
The organisation is already implementing projects in Mabvuku (Harare) and Bindura and expects to complete them before the end of the year. Other projects are underway in Warren Park 2 in Harare and Masvingo. This is in addition to existing outlets.
Despite the subdued fuel supplies largely linked to foreign currency shortages, the company said the general outlook for the industry remained promising with more international traders making inquiries with more service stations being built.
Petrotrade, however, said their major headwind was the erosion of working capital as a result of macro-economic reforms this year, which have led to exchange disparities between US dollar and the local dollar. The fuel and logistics entity said that stabilisation of the interbank market was likely to bring stability to the industry and the country.
It also noted that the demand for fuel was likely to remain above supply due to foreign currency challenges with minimal possibility of a substitute for the main fuels set for long term in view of the electric vehicle revolution.
“The company is likely to get a strategic partner upstream the supply chain, a situation that will stabilise the supply situation,” said Petrotrade.
The entity also plans to upgrade its LPG infrastructure to compete effectively in the market as LPG demand is likely to increase as it has become the main source for domestic energy requirements. Meanwhile, Petrotrade reported a 32 percent jump in revenue to $180,6 million in 2018 compared to $136 million in 2017 and declared a $1,5 million dividend for the period. — @pridesinstinctz