During a visit to its retail service centre at Oyarifa, in the Greater Accra region, Puma Energy Ghana’s General Manager, Myles Bouvier-Baird, told journalists: “This momentous event comes in the wake of Ghana’s remarkable stride towards economic transformation, particularly, in the extractive sector with oil and gas leading the way.
“Puma Energy values these developments as an opportunity to partner Ghana in empowering the energy sector with the supply of affordable, high quality products in a safe, swift and reliably way, and this is at a competitive price.”
The international fuel trader recently announced plans to enter the fuel retail market in Ghana, after acquiring a stake in Oil Marketing Company – UBI, operating in the storage domain as Blue Ocean and in the downstream sector as Puma Energy Ghana.
Speaking to the B&FT in Johannesburg during the company’s launch of operations in South Africa, Chief Operating Officer Christophe Zyde said through the UBI acquisition the company has got some 18 fuel stations, with an additional two, to start with.
Puma Energy, he said, has acquired a licence and necessary authorisation from the National Petroleum Authority to operate as an oil marketing company in the country.
“…We received approval from the NPA to change the name UBI to Puma Energy; and that, of course, will go hand in hand with rebranding the fuel stations. You will now see the Puma Energy brand coming up in Ghana,” Christophe Zyde said.
The company, he said, has met the NPA’s requirement that stipulates OMCs coming from abroad should be 50%-owned by Ghanaians to encourage strong local participation in the business of oil marketing.
“We are truly a Ghanaian company because more than 50% of our shareholding is Ghanaian,” he said.
While it is now entering the retail sector, Puma Energy is not new to Ghana; it is already a major player in the supply of aviation fuel. The company has a number of infrastructures in the country – a 46million litre depot in Takoradi, an aviation depot at the Kotoka Aiport, and an ongoing 100million litre terminal in Tema.
The company currently sells some 6billion litres of fuel in 47 countries globally, 19 of which are in Africa.
“In Africa we have 660 retail stations, and I can tell you that those statistics are typically valid only for a week because they keep changing,” Christophe Zyde said.
“Puma Energy’s business model is to link demand with supply, through investment in infrastructure. It therefore makes a lot of sense for Puma Energy to be in Africa because it is a high-growth area, but there is a lack of infrastructure,” he said.
The firm, officials said, through Blue Ocean, had invested in developing fuel logistic infrastructure. Blue Ocean, the officials noted, have invested in a 32,000m3 depot in Takoradi, the only depot with gasoline storage capacity.
“Blue Ocean has also invested in a new aviation depot airport in the West Africa region,” Mr Bouvier-Baird said, adding: “With Puma Energy Ghana, we are growing our retail footprint and will soon have 50 puma energy branded and upgraded retail stations to supply quality fuel, while offering lubricants and fuel to commercial customers.”
Puma Energy operates in 47 countries across five continents. In Africa, it is present in 19 countries, with 50 per cent of its ownership being in the hands of African investors.
“We pride ourselves as an Africa fuel supplier of choice, committed to building capacity in fuel transport, bunkering, storage and distribution in Ghana and across the African continent,” Mr Bouvier-Baird said.