IndianOil explains Mauritius expansion plans

Vol 20, PW 23 (10 Aug 17) Midstream & Downstream

Island nation Mauritius off east Africa is the only country in the region with a Hindu majority with Indians making up 68% of its 1.3m population.

Now state-owned refiner IndianOil wants to expand its influence on the popular tourist destination, according to Sanjay Parashar managing director of the company's Mauritius arm. Parashar tells us IOC (Mauritius) is planning to add five new fuel stations in the country to its 20 established stations this fiscal.

"We've sought (Mauritius) government permission to build 12 more," says Parashar, speaking to us over the phone from his Port Louis office. IOC, he adds, is confident it can commission three of the five under-construction stations by December and two more by March 2018.

Parashar boasts that IOC controls 29% of the petroleum products market and is the second largest player despite stiff competition from global players Shell, Total and Petronas-owned Engen. "Other companies have been operating in Mauritius for more than 50 years," he adds.

"IOC began operations only in 2004-2005. Getting more than 25% of the market in 12 years is no small achievement." IOC is also hoping to win a 50-km pipeline project from the Mauritius government to transport ATF (jet fuel) to the SSR Airport from the Port Louis marine terminals.

"That (project) is a long shot," Parashar says. "But it should happen in due course." Parashar replaced Rahul Bhardwaj as MD on May 1.