MEXICO CITY – Spanish energy company Repsol inaugurated on Monday its first gas stations in Mexico, where the firm plans to open some 200 stations over the course of the year as part of a plan to capture as much as 10 percent of the market within five years.
“Our first goal is to end the year 2018 with 200 stations, and from there to open between 200-250 stations a year to reach a market share of between 8-10 percent,” said Repsol’s director for refining and marketing, Maria Victoria Zingoni.
In presenting the plan, Zingoni said that between 20-30 percent of Repsol gas stations will be new facilities, while the rest will be already existing stations that will be rebranded and will offer a higher standard of service and products.
At first Repsol will focus on opening gas stations in Mexico City and the surrounding area, which is home to more than 20 million people, but the company hopes to gradually extend its service to an ever wider territory.
All this is made possible by Mexico’s energy reform, which opened the sector to private companies after almost 80 years of state monopoly.
Zingoni said that the company’s $430 million investment will be allocated exclusively to the acquisition and construction of service stations. Not to be dismissed, therefore, is the possibility that larger amounts might be invested in infrastructure such as fuel depots, pipelines and other assets.
Repsol notes that Mexico currently has too few gas stations to serve its population.
Citing figures provided by Mexico’s Energy Regulatory Commission, Repsol said there are around 11,600 stations in the country, which signifies one for every 10,560 Mexicans, a much lower ratio than is found in other large countries like the United States, Germany and Brazil. In addition, no less than 40 percent of Mexican municipalities lack service stations altogether.
Repsol employs 24,000 people in 37 countries and its products are distributed in more than 90 countries. The vertically integrated company produces around 700,000 barrels of oil per day and operates 4,700 gas stations.