Hass Petroleum Group is building a bulk fuel storage facility at the Dar es Salaam port in Tanzania as it expands its operations in the East and Central Africa region.
The Kenyan company expects to finish construction of the oil storage plant next year with a capacity of 25,000 million litres to be expanded to 40,000 million litres by 2012.
Hass Petroleum Chairman Abdinasir Hassan said $20 (Sh1.5 billion) million would be spent on the depot to enable the company increase its foot print in Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“We are nearly completing a storage depot in Tanzania that will enable us to steadily supply customers in the northern part plus neighbouring land-locked countries,” he said.
Hass, which started as a fuel a reseller in Kisumu 12 years ago, has grown to have operations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC and South Sudan with over 60 retail service stations.
Besides regional growth plans, Hass has changed its corporate identity and put focus on the Kenyan market.
The firm has also launched Atroil and Toprex lubricants for diesel and petrol engines, high and normal grade engine oils as well as gear lubricants.
The firm currently operates eight service stations but wants to double the number in two years.
“Our renewed interest in this market is underpinned both by our heritage as a Kenyan company as well as business opportunities. Kenya is important as it represents over 60 per cent of the East African market,” said Mr Hassan.
The company plans to raise its visibility by investing Sh20 million in retail service stations. Hass plans by mid next year to start retailing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) although it already supplies the commodity in bulk.
The number of small independent firms has increased since liberation of oil market in 2004, even as multinationals like Chevron (Caltex), Mobil and BP have exited.
Exit of oil majors
Hass Petroleum chief executive Issah Sheikh says the exit of a number of major international oil companies from Kenya has created a window for small firms.
“Our research indicates that demand for oil products in Kenya is high and growing with the increased economic activity. We would like to be part of this growth,” he said.
Hass says Kenya will continue to play a key role in driving business in the region with the opening up of East African Community, and has put Uganda in focus following discovery of oil.
“But even before that we had already expanded retail network in Uganda to over 20 service stations. We anticipate more growth RDC,” he said.