PTT Philippines investing Bt294m this year
PTT Philippines Corp, a subsidiary of Thailand's biggest oil company, is beefing up its presence in that country as it plans to spend about 400 million pesos (Bt294 million) this year for the expansion of its service-station network.
Wisarn Chawalitanon, PTT Philippines president and chief executive officer, said the company was planning to put up 15-20 petrol stations in Luzon and the Visayas this year. It currently has 58 retail stations.
PTT is also evaluating various areas in the Philippines for additional depots and terminals, Wisarn said.
"This will have to be in line with the growth of the retail network," he said.
According to Wisarn, 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 1.5 billion pesos.
Last year, PTT Philippines said it had received the approval of its parent firm, PTT Plc, for its expansion programme that would bring the Philippine subsidiary's network to about 125-130 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 that our parent company is considering. This is in line with the expansion of PTT Plc in the region," Wisarn said.
Last year, the Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) asked PTT's local subsidiary to continue expanding its operations, despite the difficulties encountered by industry players in the past.
This move was meant to diver-sify the local downstream oil industry, encourage stiffer competition and help make fuel prices more competitive, for the benefit of consumers.
The number of oil companies operating in the Philippines has grown to more than 240 since the deregulation of the downstream oil industry in 1998. They are categorised 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 department, the deregulation not only led to a tremendous increase in the number of industry players in various business activities, but also brought in 34.67 billion pesos in accumulated investments as of 2009.