Oil’s well: Indian Oil Corp plans major investment in Mauritius petroleum industry
The CEO of IndianOil (Mauritius), Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra, stated his intent to transform Mauritius into a petroleum hub with high capacity tankers that would be utilized for re-exporting oil to nearby areas which require the services. (Image: IOML)
After 13 years in Mauritius, Indian Oil Corporation subsidiary IndianOil (Mauritius) (IOML) is planning to expand its operations in an effort to make the island nation a bigger player in the oil industry, according to reports by CNBC Africa.
“We want to make Mauritius a petroleum hub, and produce product tankers of 140 TMT,” Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra, CEO of IOML, told the news site.
He added that such high capacity tankers would then be utilized for re-exporting to nearby areas which require the services.
He further noted that the organization has downstream marketing activities and that the expansion is in line with what is happening in the Mauritian market.
The island economy, with a prime location as a gateway to Africa in the Indian Ocean just off the continent’s southeast coast, has conducive policies in place to attract global business companies and is party to a number of international trade agreements, both with countries in Africa and outside.
All in all, Mauritius is well poised to act as a petroleum hub for the emerging continent.
According to Megh Pillay, the CEO of the State Trading Corporation of Mauritius, “The island economy has a lot of potential to serve as a one-stop halt for vessels going to smaller ports in the region.”
He indicated that a big player had envisaged a floating petroleum hub in Mauritius stocking several categories of petroleum products to cater for such ships, adding that while the situation is conducive for setting up such a facility, huge investment is called for.
IOML believes there is a new opportunity for its products within the markets, and hopes to capitalize through downstream economies which include retailing of petroleum.
“We are looking to expand in Africa,” Mohapatra said, adding that the areas eyed for expansion include retail, consumer, aviation, marine and bunkering of all vessels of fuel coming into Mauritius, and oil well lubricants.
Moreover, he added that the region needs an oil refinery with capacity of at least six million metric tonnes, which the company plans to look at in the future.
However, Indian Oil Corporation would have to go through a period of assessment should it decide to take up the project for building a refinery on the island, which will require major investment.
Indian Oil Corpration Ltd is present in Mauritius through wholly owned subsidiary IOML, which happens to be the third largest petroleum company in Mauritius.
Registered on October 24, 2001, and commencing marketing operations in January 2004, IOML holds an overall market share of 24 per cent, with a major presence in the industrial and commercial market sectors.