PetroTrade Limited says it will be shutting down five of its fuel stations across the country between 9 February and 30 March this year.
The company’s chief executive officer Godfrey Ncube told NewsDay Business yesterday that the assets’ proprietors want the properties back.
Ncube denied reports that the State-run oil firm had collapsed under dire financial straits after facing stiff competition in a liberalised market.
He said PetroTrade still had 30 fuel stations which were operational and only those in Chipinge, Bulawayo, Chitungwiza, Chivhu and Graniteside in Harare would be affected. He said:
We have not closed down our operations. The landlord is claiming the assets back. Maybe they are seeing some opportunities in the market.
… The future plan is to grow the company. We want to be the company that supplies fuel to different parts of the country.
Our aim is that probably in the next three or so years, PetroTrade is there in every district in Zimbabwe.
We want to ensure that we are operating in every district, even in rural areas. Currently, we have four projects that are running up at the same time.
Oil firms have recently been given the green light to import fuel and trade in foreign currency.
The liberalisation of the petroleum industry by the government has enabled fuel importers to finally turn around the corner.