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Shell denies slowdown in setting up outlets

The Hindu (India): Shell denies slowdown in setting up outlets

Wednesday 8 June 2005

Staff Reporter

Company to maximise indigenous sourcing of products

So far two outlets in Bangalore and one in Chennai

Eco-friendly technologies

Porur in Chennai being considered as site

CHENNAI: Dutch oil major Shell, which has secured permission from the Centre to establish 2,000 auto fuel retail outlets in the country, is aggressively pursuing its business plans for India, including maximising indigenous sourcing of equipment and products.

Denying a slowdown in the process of creating the network of outlets, senior executives of Shell India Marketing, led by its managing director Shairan Huzani Husain, told presspersons here on Monday that the company still adhered to the targets set.

The officials, speaking after taking mediapersons around Shell’s first outlet in Chennai at Vadapalani, said many of the activities leading to the setting up of the fuel stations are away from the public glare. Reiterating that there was little change in the plans of the company, they pointed out that the time taken for obtaining the necessary permissions alone, for each of the outlets, was between six and 10 months.

Shell India, which received the licences for the petrol pumps in September last, has so far set up three outlets — two in Bangalore and one in Chennai — and sources its petrol and diesel requirements from the Mangalore refinery under the fold of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.

On whether the company would enter into product sourcing agreements with other refineries, S. Ravi, Sales and Operations Manager of Shell India Marketing, said: “Shell has a policy to maximise local purchases … and open to looking at other options.” It had the choice of importing the products from its refineries in Singapore, Malaysia and West Asia.

Plastic tanks

Elaborating on the indigenous sourcing of the equipment, he said the glass fibre reinforced plastic (underground) tank for Shell’s retail outlets — as an alternative to steel tanks — was being supplied by a local company.

The glass fibre reinforced plastic tank, according to Shailaja Sharma, Manager (Corporate Social Responsibility) of Shell India was a feature of the eco-friendly technologies and practices followed by the company and replaces the steel tanks that corrode resulting in leakage of the fuels.

The reinforced plastic tanks are double walled, fitted with electronic sensory devices and designed for safe storage of fuel and protects the environment. They are supplemented by the use of polyethylene flexible pipeline.

Disabled-friendly outlets

The outlet, dispensing diesel and premium and regular brand of unleaded petrol at prices similar to those of products sold by the competition, harvest rainwater and are disabled friendly.

Apart from training the staffers at the outlet in meeting high levels of customer satisfaction, the company has also put a notice on safety guidelines for the motorists. The officials, however, refused to divulge details of the company’s plans, including the number of outlets planned in the first phase, the towns to be covered and the average throughput of the existing petrol pumps. “A few sites in Chennai are under construction,” Mr. Ravi said, adding that Porur was one such location.

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