Libya Oil Ethiopia Limited, a subsidiary company of the Libya Oil Holdings Ltd, is to expand its investment and business in Ethiopia.
Two weeks ago, the corporate management of Libya Oil Holdings held a week long meeting at Hilton Addis Ababa. The senior management team members came from the headquarters of the company, which is based in Dubai, UAE. Eighteen country managers from different African countries attended the high-level management meeting held in Addis Ababa in mid August.
Zekarias Wolika, Sales and Marketing Manager, Libya Oil Ethiopia, told The Reporter that after week-long deliberations, the management of the company has decided to make additional investments and expand its business in Ethiopia. According to Zekarias, the management made an assessment on Ethiopia’s economic growth and agreed on the need to make additional investment and expand its business in Ethiopia. The planned investment is estimated at 150 million birr.
Libya Oil has also the plan to engage in chemical supply business. “We are planning to supply chemical inputs to paint and plastic factories. For the time being we will import the chemicals but eventually we will manufacture them locally,” Zekarias told The Reporter.
Libya Oil is working on the aviation fuel supply aggressively. The company claims to have a 42 percent market share in the aviation fuel market. According to Zekarias, the company supplies jet fuel to 30 international and local airlines including Ethiopian Airlines, its major customer.
Libya Oil entered the Ethiopian fuel distribution market in November 2008 after acquiring Shell Ethiopia Limited. Libya Oil has 143 fuel stations across the country-44 of them in Addis Ababa. The company has an annual turnover of 13 billion birr. Zekarias said his company is opening nine new stations every year. “We plan to have 185 fuel stations in Ethiopia by 2020 and we want to increase our market share to 30 percent from the existing 24 percent.” The company will open nine stations every year.
Since its entry to the Ethiopian market in 2008 Oil Libya made an investment of 50 million birr on aviation fuel depot expansion and refueling machines, and the construction of the ethanol blending facility at Gottera (Akaki Fuel Depot). The company so far built only eight additional retail stations in the country. “This is due to the hassle to acquire plots of land. There was also a tax issue in connection with the acquisition of Shell Ethiopia Ltd. This tax raw has thwarted our growth in Ethiopia. Since this has been resolved now we are committed to expand our investment and business in Ethiopia,” Zekarias told The Reporter.
On Thursday Oil Libya unveiled new and improved motor oil and lubricants. At the launching ceremony held at the Sheraton Addis executives of the company made a briefing on the new and improved products to more than 100 fuel station owners and retailers. The company awarded fuel station owners, retailers and transporters who registered remarkable performance. General manager of Libya Oil Ethiopia, Musbah Elbeshti, handed over trophies and certificates to fuel station owners and commercial partners. Elbeshti said that Libya Oil recognizes the fast economic development Ethiopia is currently undertaking and decided to contribute to this growth through investment in new retail stations, commercial sites, aviation terminals and to develop the services to customers through increasing investment in developing and maintenance of the service stations, increase fleet size and launch a new fuel card systems in the coming three weeks. “The Vision of the Oil Libya Group is becoming Africa’s most respected partner in shaping African energy needs and empowering African born prosperity.”
It is to be recalled that National Oil Ethiopia (NOC) bought Oil Libya Djibouti for 450 million birr. Officials of Oil Libya said that NOC did not buy the assets from Oil Libya. “There was a dispute between Oil Libya Djibouti and Total Djibouti with the government of Djibouti in connection with environmental issue that happened many years ago. There was a raw on the amount of cumbersome compensation payment requested by the Djiboutian government. Then the Djiboutian government confiscated the companies’ assets. It is from the Djiboutian government that NOC bought the properties, not from Oil Libya,” Zekarias said. “This has created concussions among our customers. We are not selling our properties and we are not pulling out. In fact Oil Libya is developing and expanding in Ethiopia and other African countries,” he added.
In 2014 Ethiopian oil industry consumed three billion liters of fuel and 39.5 billion liters of lubricants.
Headquartered in Dubai, Libya Oil Holding Limited was established in 2004 by the Libyan Investment Authority. It acquired businesses in 18 African countries that it bought from Shell and EXXON Mobil. It has 1015 retail stations and 54 aviation fuel terminals. Its parent company TAM Oil has been engaged in fuel distribution business in Europe for the past many years.