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Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com: Shell to open filling stations in India, China, Indonesia

From DailyIndia.com, NY
By DPA

Singapore, June 26 (DPA): As demand for fuel grows strongly in Asian markets, petroleum major Shell plans to build a filling station a week in India, China and Indonesia, said an official of the Anglo-Dutch company. 

Unlike the mature retail markets of Europe, the potential in some Asian markets is limited only by how fast petrol stations can be built and staff recruited and trained, said Leslie Van de Walle, executive vice-president of the company, in a report published Monday.

‘In countries like China, India and Indonesia, we are growing very, very quickly,’ The Straits Times quoted Van de Walle as saying. ‘Over time, we want to have over 30 percent of our business in the East, up from 15 percent to 20 percent now.’

The fuel retail markets in the three countries, previously monopolised by domestic firms, opened up to foreign players only in late 2004-05.

Elaborating on Shell’s plans, Vaan de Walle said that the company has a licence to build a network of up to 2,000 petrol stations in India. It currently operates 12 sites.

A joint venture with national oil giant Sinopec saw Shell taking over nearly 200 stations in China’s eastern province of Jiangsu, with the potential for 500 new or existing sites.

The main challenges in breaking into these markets are understanding local customers, recruiting and training staff, and finding new sites, Van de Walle observed.

Although Shell’s new retail stations in Indonesia are only allowed to sell more expensive, premier-grade fuel, he said that they have been attracting queues of motorists.

‘The market is growing so quickly that you have room for national players and international players,’ Van de Walle said. ‘Unlike in Europe – where the market is mature – when you gain one litre, somebody loses one litre.’

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