BULAWAYO — The country’s largest fuel retailer, Total Zimbabwe, has spent more than $4 million on the newly refurbished fuel depot in Bulawayo and plans to invest $10 million annually towards the rebranding and refurbishment of its service stations across the country, a company official has said.
Total, which has 100 service stations dotted around Zimbabwe, is the oldest fuel company currently operating in the country following the exit of BP&Shell and Caltex.
It dominates a sector that has seen the relatively recent entry of Engen, owned by Malaysia’s State oil firm Petronas, as well as several locally owned fuel retailers.
In an interview after the official opening of its Bulawayo depot in Bulawayo on Friday, Total Zimbabwe commercial director Dominic Dhanah said the depot would go a long way to make fuel storage and deliveries more efficient at the centre of the country’s industrial hub.
“It’s an on-going event and we shall continue doing that in 2015. We will also invest $10 million every year in refurbishment of our depots and service stations,” Dhanah said.
The depot, which took two years to complete, has capacity to hold five million litres at a time.
Total executive president for Southern Africa, Christian des Closieres, said the Bulawayo depot was the second such investment in Total Zimbabwe’s depots after Harare’s depot in Birmingham Road underwent similar refurbishment between 2009 and 2010.
He said similar depot refurbishments would be done in other depots such as Chiredzi.
“The Group saw it fit to open a depot in Bulawayo as a way of complying with Total group’s global programme for invariants that stipulates minimum requirements for safety and environmental protection. As a group, we strive to make continuous improvement to make our operations safer all the time,” Closieres said.
“We continue to invest in this market and in Zimbabwe as an expression of our long-term commitment in Zimbabwe. Even if we will be the only ones left, we continue to see a bright future for the industry and the country as a whole. We believe in the people of Zimbabwe whom we have walked a long journey with spanning over 50 years,” he added.
Speaking at the same occasion, Transport minister Obert Mpofu said Total Zimbabwe was one of the main suppliers of Jet A1 or aircraft fuel to Air Zimbabwe.
“My ministry has embarked on rigorous infrastructural development of airports countrywide as part of its mandate contained in the ZimAsset economic blueprint to lure more airlines in the country,” Mpofu said.
“With these efforts, we are envisioning dramatic growth in the aviation sector. We want all airlines coming to Zimbabwe to be able to fuel without difficulties,” he added.
— The Source