PTT Philippines Corp., the local subsidiary of Thailand’s biggest oil firm, is beefing up its presence in the country as it plans to spend about P400 million this year for the expansion of its retail station network.
In an interview, PTT Philippines president and CEO Wisarn Chawalitanon said the company was planning to put up 15 to 20 retail stations in Luzon and the Visayas this year. The oil firm currently has 58 retail stations.
PTT is also evaluating various areas in the country for its additional depots and terminals, Chawalitanon told the Inquirer.
“This will have to be in line with the growth of the retail network,” he added.
According to Chawalitanon, the additional facilities will allow PTT Philippines to be on track to meeting its target to construct 75 to 80 stations from 2012 to 2016, which would cost the company at least P1.5 billion.
Last year, PTT Philippines said it had received the approval of its parent firm, PTT PLC, for its expansion program that would bring the local subsidiary’s network to about 125 to 130 by the end of 2016.
“PTT PLC sees a lot of growth potential in the Philippines. There are many areas of possible investments in the energy sector which our parent company is considering. This is in line with the expansion of PTT PLC in the region,” Chawalitanon said.
Last year, the Department of Energy had asked PTT Philippines to continue expanding its operations in the Philippines, despite the difficulties encountered by industry players in the past.
This move was meant to diversify the local downstream oil industry, encourage stiffer competition and help make fuel prices more competitive, for the benefit of end-consumers.
The number of oil companies operating in the country has grown to more than 240 since the deregulation of the downstream oil industry in 1998. They are categorized as the oil majors (namely Petron Corp., Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. and Chevron Philippines), new players and independent players, data from the DOE showed.
According to the DOE, the deregulation not only led to a tremendous increase in the number of industry players in various business activities, but also brought in P34.67 billion in accumulated investments as of 2009.