“We want to make Mauritius a petroleum hub, and produce product tankers of a 140 TMT [and] utilise them for re-exporting to nearby areas which require the services,” Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra, CEO of IndianOil (Mauritius) told CNBC Africa.
IndianOil (Mauritius), is a Mauritian based wholly owned subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, an oil company based in India. Therefore, with the island’s estimated GDP growth of 3.7 per cent in 2014 according to the International Monetary Fund, the company poised this an influencing factor of the expansion.
“We have downstream marketing activities, [the expansion] is in sync with what is happening in the Mauritian market,” he said.
According to the World Economic Forum, Mauritius is ranked the number one African country in the Global Competitiveness index 2013-2014 with a ranking of 42. The ranking is ahead of South Africa with 95 and Nigeria at 136.
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Therefore, IndianOil (Mauritius) believes there is a new opportunity for its products within the markets, and hopes to capitalise through downstream economies which include the retail level of petroleum.
“We are looking to expand in Africa. These include retail, consumer, aviation, marine and bunkering of all vessels of fuel coming into Mauritius, and [oil] well lubricants,” he said.
The policies which the Mauritian government have undertaken over the years have opened the global markets. The Cotonou Agreement signed in the year 2000 allows the island transactional access to 76 countries within the Africa, Caribbean, Pacific group of states and the European Union.
Mauritius is also party to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa which has economic agreements with 19 African countries, the African Growth and Opportunity Act and the Southern African Development Community.
Moreover, with the African markets available for trade with Mauritian companies, Mohapatra believes the region itself will expand business practises.
“This region is in need of an [oil] refinery, at least of six million metric refinery. Which we will look at a later stage,” said Mohapatra.
BY: THANDO MATUTU