MRPL becomes first PSU to foray into fuel retail

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Bangalore, Jan 13: Petro giant Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) has become the first public sector to enter into fuel retail and would open 300 petrol pumps across the country in the coming two years.

The subsidiary of ONGC was all set to take a share in the retail business by ensuring the best quality fuel to the consumers through its pumps each costing Rs 1.7 crore. The company would also enter the Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) segment shortly, company Managing Director R Rajamani said. Speaking after the inauguration of MRPL's first retail outlet in the country at Maddur, in Mandya district about 70 km from here last night, he said the company would open 14 more outlets in Karnataka in the next six months.

The company supplies 75 per cent of the fuel needs of this state, he added. MRPL which had achieved a turnover of Rs 32,376.80 crore in 2006-07, has government approval to open 500 retail outlets.

He said the company intends to approach the Union government for fuel bonds. "Once we open the model outlets then we will go to the government seeking bonds. Once consumer prices are increased our margins would improve. We don't want to go ahead aggressively. After all we have come out of the red recently. However we have an ambitious plan for speedy growth,' he said.

Mr Rajamani said MRPL would foray into the ATF marketing space and it was in talk with airlines and would enter the ATF space in a couple of months once the agreement was concluded. "We are going to supply (ATF) in BIAL (Bangalore International Airport Limted) and Hyderbad airport," he said.

He also said MRPL has submitted bids to supply ATF at some of the 8-9 airports for which Air India-Indian had floated a tender.

Speaking on MRPL's business plans in general, Rajamani said MRPL would focus more on the domestic market. "In exports margin is falling resulting in less revenue. We will try to push more into domestic market and export the surplus, Export has come down to 43-45 per cent of the total revenues," he added.

MRPL now producing 12 MMT of petro products by achieving 127 per cent capacity utilisation would be expanding its capacity to 15 MMT by 2010-11.


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