BCP issues B3bn expansion and renovation blueprint

Majority state-owned Bangchak Petroleum Plc (BCP) will spend 3 billion baht to expand and upgrade its retail oil facilities over the next three years.

The oil refinery and retailer plans to convert 200 small petrol stations nationwide to standard-sized units. By 2015, it expects to have 700 standard stations from 500 at present, said senior executive vice-president Yodphot Wongrukmit.

New stations will be developed in prime areas in the East and South, he said, adding that 120 existing stations will be renovated this year.

Bangchak will transform all 130 branches of its Bai Chak convenience stores at its pumps into Mini Big C outlets.

There are seven Mini Big C marts now, with the number predicted to increase to 220 units by 2015.

Some 500 million baht will be spent on expanding its oil depots in Bangkok and Ayutthaya to serve rising fuel demand.

"Within three years, our customers will see big changes and improvements to Bangchak's image. This is part of our goal to become the second largest oil retailer in Thailand by 2015, up from fourth," said Mr Yodphot.

He said BCP plans to increase the number of its stations selling E20 fuel to 700 from 618 this year, while E85 outlets will double to 100.

BCP also targets 20 petrol stations in neighbouring countries, including 10 in Laos and five each in Myanmar and Cambodia.

Overseas investments will be made through joint ventures with local investors or through franchisees. Each station requires a budget of around 2-4 million baht, excluding land prices.

In Myanmar, one station will be opened in Myawaddy near the Thai border, while three more are planned for this year. Five stations will be operational in Vientiane soon, while one in Cambodia is due next year.

Shares of BCP closed yesterday on the SET at 37 baht, up 75 satang, in trade worth 335 million baht.

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Writer: Yuthana Praiwan
Position: Business Reporter