New entrants in the petroleum industry in the country Puma Energy has re-assured employees that their jobs would not be affected by the recent takeover from BP.
The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Puma Energy International Pierre Eladini said no body will lose their job as the new owners prepare dominate the local market.
“In fact we are bringing back some jobs which were moved to South Africa by BP, so we are creating employment for Batswana,” Eladini said during an interview with Voice Money.
Puma Energy entered the local petroleum market after it acquired BP Botswana following the company’s shock decision to disinvest from a number of African states.
Formed in 1997 in Central America the company grew significantly, first entering Africa through Congo in 2002. It later expanded into Angola, DRC, Mozambique, Ivory Coast and Ghana.
The company has more than 30 operating subsidies located in over 20 countries worldwide and employs over 1300 people around the world.
Responding to a suggestion by Puma Energy Botswana General Manager Mahube Mpugwa that he would like to see the company doing more than the usual business of opening services stations and supplying petroleum products, Eladini said they have plans to empower the locals.
Mpugwa suggested that it was high time that Batswana are well trained in the oil industry to a point where the country will have its own oil engineers.
Eladini whose company owns and operates over 12.5 million barrels of refined product storage and supplies in excess of 14 million barrels of products every year to its customers said so far, Puma Energy Botswana is run by locals.
“We train our staff to reach our required standards and as the GM has suggested we intend to empower locals and give them opportunities as they avail themselves,” he said.
Eladini further said all assets and properties acquired from BP will soon be branded with Puma signage.
“The re-branding will start in April and by the end of June all retail sites will be Puma branded,” he said.
In support of Eladini, Mpugwa told Voice Money that all the major decisions affecting the company here are made locally.
He said the uncertainty that befell the country after the shock exit of BP despite the prevailing view that the region’s economic growth made it attractive for investment has now surpassed.
“We know that Puma energy would be put on ‘probation’ by our stakeholders and I would like to assure you that the best is yet to come,” he said.
Mpugwa said plans are already at an advanced stage to upgrade some of the retail sites, including the one in Phakalane which a lot of customers have been complaining about.
“We are also in the process of building new sites,” he said.
The General Manager stressed that with the new company in control, fuel shortage will be a thing of the past.
“When Puma took over the operations in December 2010 the country was experiencing fuel shortages due to constraints from supply terminals in South Africa. To manage supply issues the company opened up alternative supply routes from other parts of SADC region,” said Mpugwa.