Enoc granted permission to run Saudi roadside fuel stations

Enoc wins right to operate more petrol stations in Saudi Arabia as subsidies push it to expand outside of the UAE.
Enoc is one of only three companies in the kingdom to win the qualification certification from the Saudi municipal and rural affairs ministry. Jeffrey Biteng / The National
Enoc is one of only three companies in the kingdom to win the qualification certification from the Saudi municipal and rural affairs ministry. Jeffrey Biteng / The National

Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc) has won the right to operate additional fuel stations in Saudi Arabia, this time along highways and roads amid the kingdom’s ambitious infrastructure upgrade plans.

Enoc’s push into Saudi Arabia comes as UAE fuel providers, whose bottom lines are crimped by subsidised prices at home, expand beyond their borders to seek greater profits.

Enoc is one of only three companies in the kingdom to win the qualification certification from the Saudi municipal and rural affairs ministry, which is seeking to improve the quality of service stations in the country, the Dubai-based company said in an emailed statement.

Saudi Arabia has spent billions of dollars on infrastructure in the past four years to boost economic growth and create jobs as part of a pledge in 2010 to spend US$500 billion by 2020.

This is not Enoc’s first foray into Saudi Arabia. It recently opened a service station in Dammam, which boasts a convenience store, Costa Coffee, Burger King and an ATM. This is the first of many such service stations that Enoc plans to open in Saudi Arabia after getting the green light to build more, it said.

“We are committed to deliver on the ministry’s goals to provide the highest quality service standards as well as invest in new stations that offer the full breadth of services,” said Saeed Khoory, the chief executive of Enoc. “This is a true milestone in our geographic expansion strategy to Saudi Arabia, one of the fastest growing economies in the region.”

Enoc, which has closed down its stations outside of Dubai in the UAE, is looking to expand into foreign markets to overcome its losses from fuel subsidies. As well as the stations in Saudi Arabia, it is considering moving into Morocco either by acquiring existing companies or constructing its own stations.

UAE’s federal legislation mandates that Enoc, which is owned by the Dubai Government, and its subsidiary Emirates Petroleum Products Company (Eppco), sell petrol at subsidised prices.

mkassem@thenational.ae

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Published: July 6, 2014 04:00 AM

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