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Eastern Petroleum targets 5,000 LPG stores

While optimistic of achieving its planned 500 liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) outlets this 2014, Eastern Petroleum Corporation is similarly inclined to accelerate targets further to 5,000 outlets in the next four years.

Eastern Petroleum chairman Fernando L. Martinez indicated to media in a briefing the brisk sales logged by the company’s EC Gas since its market introduction last year.

As of end-June, the oil firm already put into market around 99 outlets including those held by franchisees – servicing EC Gas customers from Cagayan to General Santos City as well as those in Cebu and Davao.

The oil firm executive noted that 300 more applications are on process, and their respective outlets will be part of the expansion to meet the 500 outlets target this year

Martinez noted that additional 500 outlets will also be in the company’s investment blueprint next year. The concentration of these LPG retail networks will be 80 percent in Luzon; and the balance of 20 percent will be in Visayas and Mindanao.

With such pace of market expansion, he stressed that the 5,000 outlets may well be achieved by year 2017.

He emphasized though that a widening base of outlets and customer patronage will necessitate additional capital outlay for refilling stations. The plan,  Martinez stressed, will be to put up five more refilling facilities to underpin its market growth.

The longer-term investment trajectory for Eastern Petroleum’s LPG business unit is to corner at least 10 percent share of the market.

Martinez acknowledged though that such will re-focus their investment strategy because that scale will already require the setting up of LPG terminal.

The investment cost for such handling facility will be to the tune of P2.5 billion, he said. When plans are firmed up, the terminal will likely be sited in Luzon.