Puma Energy has inaugurated a new aviation fuel storage station at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra.
The terminal is designed to take 15,400 metric cube of aviation fuel. It is part of Puma Energy’s plans to make Ghana a hub for aviation fuel in the West African sub-region.
At the inauguration ceremony, the Chief Operating Officer for Puma Energy Africa, Christophe Zyde, said the firm is partnering with Blue Ocean Investments and UBI Petroleum.
The international fuel trader recently announced plans to enter the fuel retail market in Ghana, after acquiring a stake in Oil Marketing Company – UBI, operating in the storage domain as Blue Ocean and in the downstream sector as Puma Energy Ghana.
Mr Zyde recently said in South Africa that through the UBI acquisition, the company has got some 18 fuel stations, with an additional two, to start with.
Puma Energy, he said, has acquired a licence and necessary authorisation from the National Petroleum Authority to operate as an oil marketing company in the country.
“…We received approval from the NPA to change the name UBI to Puma Energy; and that, of course, will go hand in hand with rebranding the fuel stations. You will now see the Puma Energy brand coming up in Ghana,” Christophe Zyde said.
The company, he said, has met the NPA’s requirement that stipulates OMCs coming from abroad should be 50%-owned by Ghanaians to encourage strong local participation in the business of oil marketing.
“We are truly a Ghanaian company because more than 50% of our shareholding is Ghanaian,” he said.
While it is now entering the retail sector, Puma Energy is not new to Ghana; it is already a major player in the supply of aviation fuel. The company has a number of infrastructures in the country – a 46million litre depot in Takoradi, an aviation depot at the Kotoka Aiport, and an ongoing 100million litre terminal in Tema.
The company currently sells some 6billion litres of fuel in 47 countries globally, 19 of which are in Africa.
“In Africa we have 660 retail stations, and I can tell you that those statistics are typically valid only for a week because they keep changing,” Mr Zyde said.
“Puma Energy’s business model is to link demand with supply, through investment in infrastructure. It therefore makes a lot of sense for Puma Energy to be in Africa because it is a high-growth area, but there is a lack of infrastructure,” he said.
The firm, officials said, through Blue Ocean, had invested in developing fuel logistic infrastructure. Blue Ocean, the officials noted, have invested in a 32,000m3 depot in Takoradi, the only depot with gasoline storage capacity.
General Manager for Puma Energy in Ghana, Myles Bouvier-Baird said at the time that: “Blue Ocean has also invested in a new aviation depot airport in the West Africa region,” adding: “With Puma Energy Ghana, we are growing our retail footprint and will soon have 50 puma energy branded and upgraded retail stations to supply quality fuel, while offering lubricants and fuel to commercial customers.”
Puma Energy operates in 47 countries across five continents. In Africa, it is present in 19 countries, with 50 per cent of its ownership being in the hands of African investors.
“We pride ourselves as an Africa fuel supplier of choice, committed to building capacity in fuel transport, bunkering, storage and distribution in Ghana and across the African continent,” Mr Bouvier-Baird said.