International fuel trader Puma Energy is gearing up to enter the fuel retail market in Ghana, after acquiring Oil Marketing Company – UBI.
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.
“Two weeks ago, 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.