Hydrocarbon distribution: 180 new stations are created in Morocco every year

Hydrocarbon distribution: 180 new stations are created in Morocco every year

Illustrative photo. AIC PRESS

The Ministry of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development has revealed new data on the activity of hydrocarbon distribution companies in Morocco. This information was presented during a study day dedicated to the strategic importance of the oil refining industry, organized yesterday by the Party for Progress and Socialism (PPS) faction in the House of Representatives.

According to ministry data, 16 fuel distribution companies have obtained licenses since the liberalization of the hydrocarbon market in 2016, bringing the total number of distribution companies to 35. As for companies that import liquid petroleum products, there are 29.

Moreover, the number of new gas stations has also accelerated since 2016. According to the department led by Leila Benali, about 180 new gas stations are created every year. To date, Morocco has a total of 3,200 gas stations spread across the country.

The storage capacity of liquid petroleum products in Morocco exceeds 2 million cubic meters (Mm3), of which 1.5 Mm3 is intended for diesel, equivalent to 78 days of consumption, and 260,000 m3 is reserved for gasoline, equivalent to 103 days . days of consumption. The stock of aviation fuels amounts to 138,000 m3, good for 61 days of consumption, while fuel oil has a reserve of 184,000 m3, sufficient for 38 days of consumption.

The importance of refining activities as a solution to the problems of the hydrocarbon market in Morocco was also emphasized at this study day organized by the Public Prosecution Service. The situation of the Société Anonyme Marocaine de l’Industrie du Refinage (La Samir) and the developments of this controversial issue, especially in relation to the increase in prices, were at the center of the debates.

The dysfunction of the fuel market was previously pointed out by the Competition Council in its 2022 opinion. The body chaired by Ahmed Rahhou subsequently underlined that the structure and competitive functioning of the fuel market remained virtually identical to those at that time. inherited. when prices were set by the government. As a result, the Council criticized, price competition in the diesel and gasoline markets is virtually non-existent, or even neutralized.

However, the topic of hydrocarbons remains relevant, while there is still dysfunction in this market. Last June, the Competition Council decided to close the file on “ possible anti-competitive practices in the hydrocarbon distribution market “. At the end of this investigation, the Council sent a notice of objection in the following August to nine companies active in the markets for the supply, storage and distribution of diesel and petrol, and to their professional association.

The press release from the General Rapporteur of the Competition Council subsequently underlined that “ the investigative services believe that they have sufficient convincing evidence characterizing the existence of anti-competitive practices of the parties involved in the markets for the supply, storage and distribution of diesel and gasoline “.

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