The 2013/05/02 at 08:07
The Mauritian petrol market represents one million tonnes of all types of fuel, despite the territory covering barely 1,865 km2. Local demand is growing, year after year. But if this small island in the Indian Ocean proves to be such a high consumer of petrol products, it is primarily because it is in the process of becoming a trade platform for the whole of the southeast of the African continent. Aware of local potential, Total Mauritius, a subsidiary of Total, is active on every front, supplying petrol, diesel, LNG as well as fuel for the many planes and ships stopping over in Mauritius.
“The aim is to meet local as well as international needs. The island makes up a growing market that reflects the evolution of the Mauritian economy, progressing between 2 and 4 % every year. The number of vehicles in circulation is increasingly high, which naturally has an impact on our market. Apart from an increase in the demand of general public, we have also noticed clear-cut growth in marine activity in the last three years due to Mauritius’ strategic position in the Indian Ocean,” explains Anne-Solange Renouard, General Manager of Total Mauritius. Piracy activities that have developed recently in the Gulf of Aden, have led maritime transporters to opt for more southerly routes that encompass the island more systematically. “This phenomenon, paired with the rise in exchanges throughout southeast Africa, offers promising growth prospects for coming years,” she continues.
In addition, in the domain of tourism, the country has developed its client portfolio by focusing more on the potential of Asia and South America. Significant extension works have been carried out at the airport as aviation-related activities are on the brink of a considerable upturn.
In the petrol sector, local competition has recently changed its face. Four companies share the market, with competitors emerging in the last ten years. Total is historically the longest established amongst them. The company has been present on the island since the 1950s, merging with Elf in 2004, then with Esso in 2006. “We meet needs in all sectors of activity, namely public construction and works, the textile industry, the sugar industry, and hospitality, which, as well as transport, represent high consumers of fuel. Householders are naturally also important clients, and they have easy access to our products as we have the densest network on the island, with 46 petrol stations. As a result, we offer proximity to our clients, allowing us to stand out from the competition,” states Anne-Solange Renouard.
Another way the company stands out is in the wealth of eco-tips that it provides consumers, aimed at cutting down fuel consumption. These cover, for example, the right reflexes to adopt, including the need to regularly check tyre pressure, or the importance of closing car windows when driving at high speed. These are factors that have direct consequences on the quantity of petrol used. Total seems to be aware of the necessity for everyone to reduce their fuel bills, for economic as well as ecological reasons.
The company’s introduction to the market, several years ago, of a fuel allowing greenhouse gas effects to be diminished thanks to additives, is in line with this logic. “Recently, we have also launched a lubricant that facilitates combustion in the engine, thus reducing consumption, and which degrades better once consumed,” illustrates the Manager.
Initiatives on the social and environmental levels are another bonus offered by Total. In Mauritius, responsibility in this domain is part of specific administrative requirements. There is a legal obligation for enterprises to spend, every year, 2 % of their net profits on initiatives falling under the current corporate social responsibility framework. “Rather than directing the sum corresponding to this percentage to a dedicated fund that uses this money as it chooses, we have preferred to undertake initiatives on Mauritius ourselves. These operations benefit health, via preventative initiatives for cancer, diabetes, HIV.
They also relate to education, an essential means to fight against poverty, and promote environmental protection, road safety, or housing. Last year, we supplied 15 houses to deprived families in the island’s south,” points out Percy Laxade, Human Resources Manager at Total Mauritius.
To prepare for tomorrow’s needs in optimal conditions, the company is continuing to innovate. The adaptation of logistical tools to needs is a current spearhead. Bruno Noël, the company’s Operations Manager, specifiesthat “our different warehouses meet all the demanding criteria of different certifications. We continually work towards updating our equipment and infrastructures. Most of our investments in the next three years will be placed in the maritime transport sector, in order to offer a high degree of quality to the great demand arising in this domain.”
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