Shell Indonesia expands Jakarta retail locations

Ika Krismantari, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The local arm of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. opened a new gas station in Jakarta on Wednesday, which should further intensify the competition in the country's retail gasoline industry.

The new Shell Indonesia station, located on Jl. Yos Soedarso in North Jakarta, is its seventh outlet in the country. The previous six, all opened last year, are located in Lippo Karawaci, S. Parman and Kyai Tapa in West Jakarta, Letjen Suprapto in Central Jakarta and Mampang Prapatan and Gatot Subroto in South Jakarta.

Shell is planning to open another station in Senen, Central Jakarta.

The new gas station will sell high-octane premium gasoline under the trade names Shell Super and Shell Super Extra, and high-quality Shell Diesel at Rp 4,900 (49 U.S. cents), Rp 5,300, and Rp 5,100 a liter, respectively.

A number of foreign-owned companies have begun operating in Indonesia's downstream oil and gas sector since the sector was liberalized in 2005, ending the monopoly of state oil and gas firm Pertamina.

However, Pertamina still holds a monopoly on the sale of subsidized fuels.

Shell was the first foreign company to open gas stations here, in 2006, followed shortly by Malaysian state oil and gas firm Petroliam Nasional Bhd. (Petronas).

U.S-based energy company PT Chevron Pacific Indonesia (CPI) and France-based Total E&P have committed to open gas stations in Indonesia. Both are in the process of securing the necessary licenses from the government.

In response to this new competition, Pertamina, which also sells non-subsidized fuels, plans to open 1,000 new gas stations across the country, adding to its current network of 3,500 stations, according to Pertamina's vice president for fuel sales and distribution, Djaelani Sutomo.

"But due to bureaucratic problems, we can only process 750 licenses this year," Djaelani said Thursday.

He said Pertamina planned to boost high-octane gasoline sales, after promising sales of its high quality fuels Pertamax and Pertamax Plus over the past three months.

He said sales of Pertamax rose significantly by 200 percent over that period and Pertamax Plus by 50 percent.

Pertamax sells for Rp 4,900 a liter and Pertamax Plus is Rp 5,100 per liter.
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