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PTT talks expansion plans

Thailand's state-owned  energy firm PTT Plc has said it will expand its oil retail operations in Cambodia, while also eyeing oil sales to power plants, factories and other commercial industry in the Kingdom.

PTT plans to open more than 20 new petrol stations in Cambodia during the next five years, with up to six stations starting business in 2012, Bin May Mailia, a manager for PTT in Cambodia, said yesterday.

“We want to have the complete business [chain] in Cambodia. Not just retail, not just [oil production],” Bin May Mailia said yesterday when reached by phone.

The company has 16 petrol stations at present. It also plans to boost direct oil sales to the country’s growing number of power plants and garment factories, he said.

Competition among oil retailers in Cambodia is growing rapidly, a manager at Kampuchea Tela Co Ltd told the Post yesterday.

The Cambodian-owned company, which has about 40 service stations in the country, aims to open as many as 15 new stations this year, the manager said, requesting anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

“For the time being, we are preparing ourselves to compete with the growing market,” the manager said, noting the increase in competition from companies such as PTT and French-owned Total SA.

About 700 service stations operate under the Tela brand in Cambodia, but the majority are not owned directly by the company, the manager added.

Representatives at Sokimex could not be reached yesterday.

The Cambodian company owns 184 service stations, according to its website.

Total and Chevron were not immediately available for comment yesterday.

The growth in Cambodia’s car sector was not the only reason for PTT’s expansion, Bin May Mailia said. “It’s to support the PTT brand name, not just because there are more cars and motorcycles on the road,” he said, adding that the expansion would include non-oil-oriented business such as food and beverage sales at petrol stations.

PTT’s planned expansion in the Kingdom would coincide with larger investments in the region. China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Myanmar and Laos would also see a boost in PTT investments during the same time frame, Bin May Mailia noted.

PTT has an oil concession in Cambodia’s offshore oil Block B but has yet to start exploration. Bin May Mailia said he was not in charge of oil exploration in Cambodia and could not comment on progress made in the Gulf of Thailand.



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