Renatha EXETER, CEO of THE GUYANA OIL COMPANY

If you don’t change with the market, it will leave you behind.

Renatha EXETER CEO THE GUYANA OIL COMPANY

Guyana’s fuel retail and distribution potential

November 30, 2018

Renatha Exeter, the CEO of The Guyana Oil Company (Guyoil), talks to TOGY about the challenge of Guyana being a volatile market, Guyoil’s plans to integrate solar power at its petrol stations and the promising market for ultra-low-sulphur diesel. Guyoil is a high-octane petrol retailer operating 50 stations in Guyana.

• On downstream challenges: “Technologically, the progress of automation is a great challenge to the downstream. Of course, transition happens so quickly. We are moving from a very comfortable position to a very fast-paced, technologically driven market. You need the right skillsets and the right resources, as well as the ability to combine them and move quickly. If you don’t change with the market, it will leave you behind.”

• On expansion plans: “We are looking at a number of expansion projects from a strategic standpoint. Expansion of capacity is among one of our priorities. Expansion of our retail network to serve new communities is also being considered. Our mandate is to ensure that every part of the country has an established Guyoil location. We are looking to move into areas that we are not serving.”

• On partnership potential:
“We have very competitive investors coming into Guyana. We would like companies coming in to set up operations to meet with us. We are open for business. We can serve, and have the resources to serve everyone.”

Most TOGY interviews are published exclusively on our business intelligence platform, TOGYiN, but you can find the full interview with Renatha Exeter below.

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What is the biggest challenge in Guyana’s downstream market?
It is a very volatile market. We are exposed to all types of price shocks. One thing we have to keep in mind as a country is readiness and preparedness as we expand and open to the world.
Technologically, the progress of automation is a great challenge to the downstream. Of course, transition happens so quickly. We are moving from a very comfortable position to a very fast-paced, technologically driven market. You need the right skillsets and the right resources, as well as the ability to combine them and move quickly. If you don’t change with the market, it will leave you behind.

Will Guyoil be providing ultra-low-sulphur diesel?
One of our mandates as a national company is the environment, and we are trying to support our country’s green initiatives. Ultra-low-sulphur diesel is an environmentally friendly product, and that is one reason we brought this product into the market. Our long-term goal is to transition regular diesel users to ultra-low-sulphur diesel users. Guyoil is the first company to introduce this product to the market and we are currently the only company in Guyana that offers this product to retail customers. We are continuously expanding this product in the market.
We are doing a lot of education to help consumers understand its benefit to their vehicles and to the environment. It is good for people to understand they are making a difference. I would estimate that in a few years this would comprise most of the diesel market.

 

Can you tell us about specific expansion projects?
We are looking at a number of expansion projects from a strategic standpoint. Expansion of capacity is among one of our priorities. Expansion of our retail network to serve new communities is also being considered. Our mandate is to ensure that every part of the country has an established Guyoil location. We are looking to move into areas that we are not serving.
As part of our expansion plan, everything will be energy efficient. Our facilities department is very proactive in this area.

Is Guyoil looking to build solar-powered petrol stations?
Part of our mandate is to operate in a more energy-efficient manner, and we have started building solar-powered stations. As a state-owned entity, we must embrace what is happening on the national front. We lead the process. We have recently refurbished one of our service stations that is solar-operated. We intend to roll this out throughout all our stations.

What is your strategy for 2019?
We are hoping to work towards more storage capacity and to expand our distribution. We are in the first phase and have the design engineering. We are going to prepare the plans to send out for tenders so that we can start early 2019.
With the expansion plans and great works that are expected in 2019, customer service experience is also going to be a key focus for us. Everyone coming into our stations should experience “excellence in service,” which is Guyoil’s motto and the standard in which we operate.
We are investing not just in refurbishing buildings, but also in our people. That is a huge part of our focus. Another thing is that we have very competitive investors coming into Guyana. We would like companies coming in to set up operations to meet with us. We are open for business. We can serve, and have the resources to serve everyone.

How far do Guyoil’s operations spread?
Guyoil is owned and operated by the people of Guyana. We are the largest petrol distributor in the country. Our slogan is, “We are everywhere,” and we really are. The retail side of our distribution is through our 50 company-owned and dealer-owned stations. We also have three terminals across the country, from where we sell our bulk fuel. In 2014, we added a new member to our family, Guyoil Aviation Service, our distributor of aviation fuel.
Right now, our portfolio handles fuel oil, low- and ultra-low-sulphur diesel, super-95 mogas [motor gas], and kerosene oil. We are the authorised Guyanese distributor of Castrol, our lubricant line.

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