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Esso to further grow station network


AFTER shrinking its fuel-retailing network for nearly two decades, Esso (Thailand), the local subsidiary of US oil giant ExxonMobil, has resumed its downstream expansion, with the number of new outlets opened last year exceeding the number of closed outle

And the company is gearing up to accelerate its fuel-pump expansion even more this year, Esso spokesman Mongkolnimit Auacherdkul said yesterday.
Jesada Chancherngkij, Asia-Pacific marketing communications manager, fuels and lubricants, of ExxonMobil, said the company opened nearly 20 new service stations last year, and after deducting some pumps that were closed during the year, its net addition was about 15.
“That was the first time since 1997 [the Asian economic crisis] that we had a positive net addition” of petrol outlets, Mongkolnimit said.
Jesada said the company had recently set up a team to take care of its pump-expansion plan since it aimed to open even more outlets this year, at least 30.
All outlets will be invested by its dealers, with costs excluding land of more than Bt20 million for each station.

Loyalty programme
Esso is also scheduled to unveil a loyalty programme to allow its customers to accumulate points, similar to PTT’s Blue Card campaign, in May, he said.
The company currently has more than 500 petrol stations in Thailand.
Esso’s renewed expansion of its retail network came as petrol consumption in Thailand surged by 13.2 per cent last year, the highest growth in more than a decade, thanks to a sharp decrease in prices. Diesel demand also rose 3.7 per cent last year.
Mongkolnimit praised the government’s policy to eliminate subsidies and allow fuel prices to reflect their true costs. Now only ethanol is still being subsidised, he said.
He said the general public might not understand why fuel prices could not be cut more, as world oil prices have shrunk to only around US$30 a barrel. The reason is the cost of ethanol, which is currently as high as Bt21 a litre, which is blended with petrol to make gasohol.
The government has maintained the subsidy on ethanol because it wants to assist farmers who supply sugar cane and tapioca to ethanol plants. Nevertheless, some energy experts have suggested that the government allow ethanol prices to reflect the true cost and provide subsidies directly to farmers.

Published : January 29, 2016

By : PICHAYA CHANGSORN THE NATION