Glencore’s head of oil trading said the company will start importing fuel for Mexico’s domestic market in February 2018, after completion of its first terminal at the port of Dos Bocas, in the southern state of Tabasco, with a capacity of 600,000 barrels.
“As soon as we have an opportunity to import through our own infrastructure in Tabasco, we will,” said Alex Beard during the inauguration of the first gas station branded under the G500 franchise.
In May, Glencore entered into an agreement with Corporacion G500 SAPI to create this franchise platform to service more than 1,400 affiliated service stations in Mexico.
Formed in 2014, G500 is an association of service station owners, which was established in response to deregulation of Mexico’s petroleum industry. G500 currently sells around 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) of gasoline and diesel fuel. It has a nationwide presence, with a strong focus in central Mexico. In the first half of 2017, G500’s sales represented 13.8% of the 1.16 million bpd of the diesel fuel and gasoline sold in Mexico.
Glencore said it plans to invest USD500 million in its current development phase between retail and logistics infrastructure. It also plans to make additional investments in new projects under phase two.
Glencore and G500 are looking to develop the franchise by adding new franchisees or building new service stations.
Deregulation has encouraged trading companies, such as Glencore, and oil majors, including ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Chevron, to pursue retail opportunities in Mexico.
Local mining and infrastructure company Grupo Mexico is building new terminals to discharge independent fuel imports and later distribute it by rail.