Eterna Plc, an operator in the nation’s downstream oil sector, has said it aims to increase the number of its petrol stations across the country to 200 and acquire upstream oil and gas assets in the next five years.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Eterna, Mr Mahmud Tukur, said the firm would be in a position to participate in future marginal fields bid round.
Tukur spoke at a press conference on the firm’s achievements as it marked its 30 years of operation in the oil and gas industry.
He said, “The core of Eterna’s current business is trading, fuel supply and lubricants. The company will scale up its existing business by increasing its retail presence nationwide.
“We have 39 stations currently operating, and in the next two to three months, you will see Eterna being very visible in Lagos; we are very strong in Port Harcourt and Abuja. We hope to have 200 petrol stations in the next five years. Year-on-year, you are going to start seeing us doubling our capacity.”
He said the firm had made a significant investment in its lubricants business, with a thriving chemicals business.
Noting that the firm established a technical partnership with Castrol BP in 1991, Tukur said, “We are now in a position where we are blending different grades of Castrol products and we are continuing that conversation with Castrol to expand the portfolio of locally manufactured products.”
He said Eterna would invest in liquefied petroleum gas facilities and roll-out of LPG distribution channels nationwide using retail outlets and independent distributors.
He added that the firm would expand and strengthen its presence in the lubricants markets nationwide, and utilise existing assets to compete favourably in the supply of aviation fuels.
Tukur said, “We currently have a small upstream operation. We are looking at acquiring marginal fields and how to deploy capital to buy producing assets. There are a lot of opportunities and gas infrastructure development that we are looking at. These are the core areas that form part of our five-year business strategy.”
According to him, between 2009 and 2018, Eterna had paid over N14bn in debt and grew shareholder fund from N4bn to N13bn.
“In 2018, the company declared dividends for the third consecutive year, a first-time feat in the company’s history. The dividends have increased year-on-year by not less than 20 per cent since 2016,” he added.