Essar Oil Ltd. plans to have 5,000 fuel retail outlets by the end of Fiscal Year 2016-2017, the company announced. Headquartered in Mumbai, India, Essar Oil has started reopening its fuel retail outlets after the government decontrolled diesel fuel prices last year.
It has so far reopened all 1,400 outlets and added more than 150 new ones. Another 1,600 outlets are in various stages of execution, according to the company’s recent annual report.
“Essar Oil’s retail business has begun to contribute to the bottomline and promises to be a major value creator in the future,” Chairman Prashant Ruia said during his address to the shareholders.
This will help Essar Oil achieve more than a third of the capacities of public sector undertakings (PSUs) such as Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (HPCL) in just two years.
BPCL and HPCL operate around 13,000 retail outlets each and are expanding at a rate of 1,000 outlets every year.
PSUs are facing pressure due to increased competition from private oil retailers such as Essar Oil and Reliance. However, Essar Oil’s larger rival Reliance Industries Ltd. has been more cautious, re-opening only 500 outlets so far. It plans to restart all 1,400 close fuel pumps by March 2016.