Mon | Jul 22, 2019

GB Energy plans $2b expansion

Published:Friday | January 11, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Mauricio Pulido, CEO of GB Energy Jamaica-Texaco.
Mauricio Pulido (right), CEO of GB Energy-Texaco Jamaica, shows Prime Minister Andrew Holness how the LPG gas pump works. Occasion was GB Energy-Texaco launch of Autogas in Jamaica at a Texaco station on Half-Way Tree Road, St. Andrew on Friday, October 5, 2018.
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GB Energy, the marketing company that holds the Texaco brand in Jamaica, will be undertaking a $2-billion expansion drive to increase the number of petroleum service stations from 72 a year ago to 87 by the end of 2019, according to Chief Executive Officer Mauricio Pulido.

The latest installation recently received approval from the National Environment and Planning Agency. The plan calls for the construction of four shops along with three bathrooms, as well as the provision of space for the sale of liquid petroleum gas and other petroleum products at Priory, St Ann.

'We're putting in a full plaza. This will include a convenience store and a food service restaurant," Pulido said, when contacted by the Financial Gleaner.

He says the company is spending US$1.5 million on construction set for completion later this year. The location of the Texaco plaza at Priory means that GB Energy is stealing a march on competitors since the nearest service stations are about 15 kilometres away in either direction.

Meanwhile, the next Texaco location is slated for opening by the end of March. Pulido says that GB Energy is responding to requests from motorists who are using the North-South Highway.

"The outlet located at Unity Valley, along the North-South Highway, should be completed by the end of the first quarter," Pulido said.

He says GB Energy is spending J$2 billion on the overall expansion, at the end of which Texaco will have 87 stations.

The CEO says not all the new stations are fully owned by GB Energy. He says the company has developed different models of investment and that, in general terms, the company is targeting partnerships with locals.

"Some of them will be operated by us and some of the partners will run it on their own," Pulido said, adding that the company's operations over the last six years since taking over in November 2012 have been characterised by building relationships and active expansion.

"The way we handle our retailers and the way we do business is attracting a lot of investors to partner with us to build more locations, so very soon you will see more people becoming part of the GB Energy family," Pulido said.

neville.graham@gleanerjm.com