Engen, the African energy multinational, will add two new service stations to its retail network in the Democratic Republic of the Congo this year.
Drikus Kotze, General Manager of Engen’s International Business Division, says the company has just received the go-ahead for construction on the Tourisme site in Kinshasa, which it plans to open in January 2016.
Tourisme will offer fuel (petrol and diesel) and lubricants, as well as an Engen Quickshop convenience store stocking typical convenience products and general merchandise.
Another site, Oasis, which was acquired in August and was half built by the previous owner, is in the process of being completed by Engen. Also located in Kinshasa, it is expected to open for business in December this year.
Looking further ahead into 2016, Engen is also planning the construction of an Engen Truck Stop long haul site in DRC, at a location yet to be confirmed.
Since entering the DRC in 2007, when it bought 60% of Shell en RDC, Engen DRC has been growing steadily, says Kotze.
“We’ve been fairly aggressive in our retail roll-out over the past three years, but getting good sites and finalising the necessary approvals isn’t always that straight-forward, given the stringent environmental and regulatory issues that we subscribe to.”
As the sub-Saharan African subsidiary of PETRONAS, the Malaysian-owned FORTUNE 500 global integrated oil company, Engen complies with strict health, safety, environment and quality best practice, wherever it operates. Says Kotze: “We do a lot of work to ensure the engineering and workmanship in the DRC and elsewhere is of a high standard.”
Engen also owns 13% of SEP, the industry distribution and operations company, as well as a 49% of Aristea, in partnership with Total, through which it has interests in FinaCongo, TFC and Sofimo.
Integral to African plans
Engen is delighted with the new development and the continued prospects for growth in the country, adds Kotze. “The DRC is an integral part of Engen’s growth ambitions in sub-Saharan African.”
Engen operates in 18 countries in SSA and the Indian Ocean Islands, and owns a retail network of approximately 1 500 service stations across the region. Around 10% of its 500 sites outside of South Africa – its foundational market – are in the DRC.