NOC Inaugurates new blending facilityMarch 6th, 2012
National Oil Ethiopia Plc (NOC), a company engaged in the retail of petroleum and related products, is in the final stages of branching to two of Ethiopia’s immediate neighboring countries; Djibouti and South Sudan, Capital learnt.
"We are completing all the necessary preparations to expand our services to neighboring Djibouti and South Sudan. This will allow NOC to become the first Ethiopian oil retailing company in history to become a transnational company. Not only that, we also plan to produce oil in the country," said Tadesse Tilahun, CEO of NOC.
NOC also inaugurated the third ethanol and regular Benzene blending facility in the country at a cost of 45 million birr in Dukem Town of the Oromiya Special Zone, some 37Km to the south east of Addis Ababa.
Since the inception of using ethanol blended gasoline in Ethiopia, 22 million liters of ethanol has been blended with regular benzene saving the country 16 million dollars which otherwise would be incurred if oil were imported according to Alemayehu Tegenu, Minister of Water and Energy.
Ethiopia’s effort to build 11 more sugar factories in addition to the expansion projects in three existing sugar factories will allow for more ethanol production from the byproduct of sugar cane. This will enable the country to save more hard currency by limiting oil imports and creating room for blending E25 which means blending 25 percent ethanol with regular benzene. The new facility was built in light of this technology.
The blending depot has the capacity to blend 1,000 meters cube of regular benzene and ethanol per day. It has three tanks with a total storage capacity of 3,200 meters cube of regular benzene, diesel and ethanol. The depot also has an LPG filling and storage plant with a daily filling capacity of 2,000 cylinders. This particular facility has a storage capacity of 100 metric tons. The company has a plan to expand its current filling and storage capacity to 5,000 cylinders per day and 500 metric tones, respectively. The expansion phase is expected to cost NOC close to 100 million birr.
In the eight years of its operation, NOC expanded to125 retail stations, up from 11 at the beginning of its operation in 2003. In doing so, the oil retailing company has created 6,000 permanent and 4,000 temporary job opportunities, say the management.
At the end of 2011, the company’s annual sales turnover reached 13 billion birr while its investment base picked up to two billion birr. In its bid to import and effectively distribute Fuels, Lubricants, LPG, Bitumen, Pet Coke and Industrial Chemicals, NOC has made use of more than 6,000 trucks which are owned by different companies and associations.
NOC has opened aviation fueling stations at two airports in the capital cities of two regional states at a cumulated cost of 20 million birr. The company began an aviation refueling service at Gambela and Assossa Airports last September. This move by the company has increased the number of aviation fueling stations under the ownership of the company to three, the first being the one inaugurated at Bole International Airport in July 2010, operational since November 2010. In aggregate, the company has invested 79 million birr for its facilities in the aviation fueling business alone.
The two facilities at the two airports that made use of state of the art technology for refueling which is known as a Hydrant System by people in the aviation industry, have storage tankers with the capacity of holding 100,000 liters each. Both the installed tankers made use of technology that provides options to expand when needed. According to an industry expert, the facility plays an important role in the growth of air transport service in both Gambela and Benishangul Gumuz Regional States, even in the growth of air transport services in South Sudan. The opening of an aviation refueling station in this part of Ethiopia will provide reliable and safe refueling services both to the local and regional aviation industry players.
NOC is a company established by three prominent Ethiopian Businessmen in 2004 with an initial investment of 100 million birr. In the past eight years of operation, the company managed to increase its capital to well over 600 million birr. The company is the first home grown company to engage itself in the aviation fuel supply business. In the past eight years of its operation, NOC that has been able to expand its market share from 10 percent to 35 percent now says it paid 324 million birr as profit taxes.
The new facility was built on 52 thousand square meters of land of which the depot consumed 12 thousand. The first such blending facility was built by Nile Petroleum followed by Oil Libya. --Capital